Last Wednesday, the Navy launched two unarmed 45-foot long nuclear missiles with a range of 4,000 nautical miles from a ballistic missile submarine on the USS Nebraska off the coast of San Diego.
The following Friday, the Navy launched two more of those same missiles before sunrise. These four powerful missiles are called Trident II, and are famously nicknamed “boomers” for their immense power.
According to Vice Admiral Johnny R. Wolfe, director of the command responsible for the Navy’s strategic weapons, “Our nation’s sea-based deterrent has been a critical component of our national security since the 1960s, and this week’s launches continue to demonstrate the credibility and reliability of our life-extended missiles.”
In other words, these tests were run to improve and expand upon our nation’s strategic weapons system lifespan into the 2040s.
Currently, 24 missiles are deployed on each of the 14 Ohio-class submarines. As of this week, there have been 176 successful test launches of the Trident II Weapon System.