On Friday, the U.S. Navy successfully conducted a test launch of two unarmed, long-life Trident D5LE nuclear missiles from the USS Wyoming.
The USS Wyoming (SSBN-742), an Ohio-class guided missile submarine, was floating off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., When it completed the test, which was part of a demonstration operation and test, designated DASO-31.
A DASO is performed to assess the suitability of the guided missile submarine and its crew before being dispatched for operational deployment following the ship’s refueling overhaul.
Friday’s launch marks 184 successful missile test flights of the Trident II (D5 & D5LE) SWS. The Last Trident II (D5LE) the launch was completed in February 2021 off the coast of Florida.
The Navy’s Director of Strategic Systems Programs, Vice Admiral Johnny R. Wolfe, said Friday: “Today’s test demonstrates the unmatched reliability of our nuclear deterrent at sea, made possible by a dedicated team of military, civilian and industrial partners who bring expertise and dedication to the mission which is truly extraordinary. ‘
He explained, “This same team is currently developing the next generation of the Trident strategic weapons system, which will extend our strategic sea-based deterrence until 2084.”
On Friday, the US Navy successfully conducted a test launch of two long-life unarmed Trident D5LE nuclear missiles off Cape Canaveral.
The USS Wyoming (SSBN-742) is an Ohio-class guided missile submarine that serves primarily as a deterrent
Friday’s launch marks 184 successful Trident II (D5 & D5LE) SWS missile test flights
The United States has a fleet of 14 Ohio-class guided missile submarines. The country currently has the largest submarine fleet in the world
The Navy announced that the Trident II missiles have undergone a “life extension program to deal with the potential impacts of aging and obsolescence” and are now ready for deployment with the rest. of the fleet alongside the UK Vanguard class, US Colombia-class, British Dreadnought class.
The United States has a fleet of 14 Ohio-class guided missile submarines that carry approximately half of the United States’ active strategic thermonuclear warheads. Each submarine carries 24 trident missiles carrying up to 8 nuclear warheads.
The 14 guided-missile submarines serve primarily as a nuclear deterrent to show the country’s readiness and ability to defend itself and its allies.
Each Ohio-class submarine has estimated an annual cost of $ 170 million, which equates to the U.S. spending of $ 2.4 billion per year to operate these deterrent vessels.
These tests are scheduled years in advance and are performed with unarmed flights. The Navy said “the missile test was not conducted in response to ongoing world events, nor as a show of power.”
Although scheduled, the nuclear missile submarines arrive as the United States signed an agreement to work with the United Kingdom to build nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.
The Navy said the tests are scheduled years in advance and “are not conducted in response to ongoing world events, nor as a show of power.”
The deal has greatly angered France, which had already signed a $ 90 billion deal to build Australian ships, and China, which is threatened by Australia’s decision to start acquiring nuclear weapons.
Australia will build a fleet of nuclear submarines to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific as part of a new strategic partnership with its two most important allies.
Scott Morrison said the submarines would be built in Adelaide in cooperation with the United States and the United Kingdom who, unlike Australia, have experience in building and operating the boats.
The move means Australia has broken its agreement with the French company Naval Group to build 12 diesel-electric submarines to replace its six aging Collins-class submarines.
It comes after China spent years bolstering its military with a defense budget six times that of Australia.
Beijing has 42 times more soldiers, 55 times more tanks, 13 times more submarines and 16 times more fighter jets.
On land, in the air and at sea, China has covered Australia with 3.3 million serving soldiers compared to Australia’s relatively small 80,000.
Beijing will soon have the world’s largest submarine fleet when it overtakes the US Navy in 2030.
The US naval force is expected to have around 66 submarines by the end of the decade, while China will have around 80, most of them nuclear-powered.
At the moment, Australia has only six and the new nuclear-powered submarines will not be available until 2040.
The USS Wyoming (SSBN-742), an Ohio-class guided missile submarine, was floating off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., When it completed the test (Stock Image)
China has significantly beefed up its military in recent years and now has six Shang-class nuclear attack submarines, equipped with torpedoes and cruise missiles. This graph shows a comparison of the two armies
China has stoked tensions in the South China Sea in recent years by expanding its claimed territory, much to the chagrin of its Asia-Pacific neighbors
Taiwan and Japan hailed a new three-way pact on nuclear submarines between the US, UK and Australia aimed at combating China – saying there is a need to ensure “security” of the region.
The countries are both threatened by Beijing and North Korea respectively, and said the new naval alliance dubbed AUKUS would help keep the region “free and open” and increase “peace and security”.
Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison were also careful not to mention China when they announced the new deal – which will see Australia with its very first fleet of at least eight nuclear submarines – on Wednesday evening , although they clearly indicated their intentions with references. to “democracy, freedom of navigation and security”.
Taiwan – which considers itself an independent nation but is seen by Beijing as an autonomous Chinese province – fears an invasion of the mainland after Xi Jinping pledged to “reunify” the island in a 2019 speech, saying he reserves the right to use force if necessary.
The UK and US have already conducted increased freedom of navigation patrols in the Taiwan Strait and around the Spratly and Paracel Islands – which contain Chinese military bases – and the addition of at least eight sub- nuclear sailors to the Australian fleet will strengthen these efforts.
France claims to have been “stabbed in the back” by the Australian nuclear submarine deal, a former senior diplomatic official said.
“The world is a jungle,” tweeted the former ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, on Thursday.
“France has just been reminded of this bitter truth by the way the United States and the United Kingdom stabbed her in the back in Australia. That’s life.’
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pictured in the center during a virtual press conference Thursday morning with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden
Australia has been planning for years to build a fleet of 12 diesel submarines in Adelaide through the French company Naval Group, with a deal reached in 2016 worth $ 90 billion.
Later Thursday, the French government said Australia’s decision to abandon the deal was “against the prevailing spirit of cooperation” between the two countries.
In a startling break with America’s oldest ally, France recalled its ambassador to the United States after an explosion over a new pact between the United States, Britain and Australia.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves LeDrian announced the decision to dismiss Ambassador Philippe Etienne on Friday evening, saying it was a request from French President Emmanuel Macron.
He cited the “exceptional gravity of the announcements” – which took France by surprise.