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Tags: uk | nuclear missle | test failure | hms vangaurd

UK Nuclear Missile Test Fails Again

By    |   Wednesday, 21 February 2024 10:30 PM EST

A British nuclear missile test launch failed for the second time in eight years, raising concerns about the reliability of the country's Trident II ballistic missiles, reported CNN.

The incident occurred during an exercise near Florida on Jan. 30, as confirmed by a U.K. Ministry of Defense spokesperson.

According to the spokesperson, an "anomaly occurred" during the test aboard the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Vanguard. However, the Ministry assured the public that the issue was specific to the test and did not reflect on the overall "reliability" of the Trident missile system.

The failure was reminiscent of a similar incident in June 2016, also off the coast of Florida, as reported by a U.S. defense official. The recent malfunction saw the Trident II missile and its dummy warhead propelled into the air, but the first-stage boosters failed to ignite, causing the missile to sink into the ocean.

Despite the setback, the Ministry emphasized that the U.K.'s nuclear deterrent remained "safe, secure, and effective." Minister of Defense Grant Shapps, who was aboard the HMS Vanguard during the test, echoed this sentiment, stating that there were no implications for the country's ability to deploy nuclear weapons if necessary.

The successful completion of recent tests during a demonstration and shakedown operation reaffirmed the capability of the HMS Vanguard and its crew to operate the U.K.'s "Continuous At-Sea Deterrent," the Ministry asserted.

"The test has reaffirmed the effectiveness of the U.K.'s nuclear deterrent, in which we have absolute confidence," the spokesperson said.

However, the opposition Labour Party expressed "concerns" over the test failure, emphasizing the need for reassurance from the defense secretary regarding the effectiveness of the U.K.'s deterrent operations.

The U.K. maintains four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, each armed with American-built Trident II D5 missiles capable of reaching targets up to 4,000 miles away. The annual cost of the U.K.'s Trident II D5 missile inventory was approximately $15.1 million as of 2015, with annual running costs estimated at around $3.79 billion for 2023/2024, according to a House of Commons Library report.

Plans are underway to replace the current Vanguard-class submarines with four new Dreadnought-class submarines by the early 2030s. The U.K. has allocated between $39.1 billion and $51.7 billion for the construction of these upgraded submarines, according to reports.

Despite the recent test failure, the Ministry of Defense remained confident in the U.K.'s nuclear deterrent capabilities, emphasizing ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the country's strategic defense systems.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


GlobalTalk
A British nuclear missile test launch failed for the second time in eight years, raising concerns about the reliability of the country's Trident II ballistic missiles, reported CNN.
uk, nuclear missle, test failure, hms vangaurd
407
2024-30-21
Wednesday, 21 February 2024 10:30 PM
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