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UK nuclear missile Trident fails testing for second time

UK nuclear missile Trident fails testing for second time UK's Trident nuclear missile fails another test (theaviationgeekclub com)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The test of the Trident nuclear missile system for submarines, which took place in January, failed. This is the second time this has happened, according to Sky News and BBC.

Thus, the latest test was conducted from the HMS Vanguard on the east coast of the United States, which was witnessed by British Defense Minister Grant Shapps.

"A Trident missile has misfired and crashed into the ocean off the coast of Florida during a rare test launch by a British nuclear submarine in an embarrassing blow for the Royal Navy," Sky News writes.

On Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Defense confirmed that an "anomaly" had occurred during the exercise involving HMS Vanguard, but a spokesperson insisted that the nuclear deterrent "remains safe, secure and effective."

"The fault had something to do with it being a test-firing, with a source saying that the launch would have been successful had it been carried out for real with a nuclear warhead," the agency says.

According to the BBC, "This is highly embarrassing for both the UK and the US manufacturer of the Trident missile."

The missile was supposed to fly several thousand miles before landing harmlessly in the Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and West Africa, but instead, it crashed into the ocean near where it was launched.

At the same time, the UK Ministry of Defense emphasizes in a statement that Trident is still "most reliable weapons system in the world" having completed more than 190 successful tests."

Not the first case

This is the second Trident missile failure in a row for the Royal Navy's nuclear weapons fleet after a problem with another test launch in 2016.

According to the BBC, British tests of Trident missiles are rare, not least because of their cost.

"The price tag of each missile is around £17m and the last test was in 2016 when it also ended in failure when the missile veered off course," BBC notes.

During the first test, the missile was launched from the HMS Vengeance on the Florida coast.

The UK has four nuclear-armed submarines. The country's nuclear deterrent requires at least one of them to be continuously at sea to deter nuclear threats from enemies such as Russia and to be ready to respond should the worst happen and the UK or its allies face a nuclear attack, according to Sky News. In particular, HMS Vanguard is one of four nuclear submarines that were on patrol in 1994.

Earlier, RBC-Ukraine wrote that the UK would conduct a test launch of a nuclear missile.