Author Topic: British Trident missile test veered off course towards the US  (Read 7857 times)

Offline Star One

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Widely reported in the U.K. media and not denied by our MOD.

Quote
The Sunday Times says an unarmed Trident missile fired from submarine HMS Vengeance near the Florida coast in June veered off course towards the US.
The paper says the incident took place weeks before a crucial Commons vote on the future of Trident.
The MoD did not give details of the test process but said it was a success.
In July, MPs backed the renewal of Trident by 472 votes to 117, approving the manufacture of four replacement submarines at a current estimated cost of £31bn.
According to the Sunday Times, it is expected that Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will be called to the Commons to answer questions from MPs.
Vengeance, one of the UK's four Vanguard-class submarines, returned to sea for trials in December 2015 after a £350m refit, which included the installation of new missile launch equipment and upgraded computer systems.
The Sunday Times says the cause of the test firing failure remains top secret but quotes a senior naval source as saying the missile suffered an in-flight malfunction after launching out of the water.
The Trident II D5 missile, adds the paper, was intended to be fired 5,600 miles (9,012 km) to a sea target off the west coast of Africa.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38708823
« Last Edit: 01/23/2017 08:28 PM by Lar »

Offline anik

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Interesting that the word "consecutive" for Trident-2 successful launches has disappeared after press-release http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2011/march/cLockheedMartin-BuiltTrid.html It was 135th successful launch in a row - on March 1, 2011. It was DASO-22 launch.

In press-release http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2012/march/lockheed-martin-built-trident-ii-d5-missile-achieves-137th-succe.html said that it was 137th successful launch - on February 22, 2012. It was DASO-23 launch.

I see that there was FCET-44 launch sometime in 2011. So I think that there were two FCET-44 launches, not one. One of these launches was 136th successful and one was a failure.
« Last Edit: 01/22/2017 11:25 AM by anik »

Offline Star One

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Full damage control mode?

Quote
LONDON (Reuters) - A test firing of an unarmed British nuclear Trident missile from a submarine off the coast of Florida malfunctioned last June, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The paper quoted an unnamed senior naval source as saying the missile may have veered off in the wrong direction toward the American mainland.

The paper said it was the only test firing of a British nuclear missile in four years and came shortly before Theresa May became Prime Minister last year in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

It said May had omitted any mention of the failed test when she persuaded parliament to spend 40 billion pounds on new Trident submarines in her first major speech before parliament last July.

Parliament, which in 2007 agreed in principle to replace the deterrent system, last year voted to approve the building of four submarines to ensure Britain can have nuclear weapons continuously on patrol at sea.

Trident missiles have been test-fired only five times by UK submarines this century because they cost 17 million pounds ($21.03 million) apiece, the paper said.

May's office and Britain's Ministry of Defence said in a joint statement: "In June, the Royal Navy conducted a routine unarmed Trident missile test launch from HMS Vengeance, as part of an operation which is designed to certify the submarine and its crew.

"Vengeance and her crew were successfully tested and certified, allowing Vengeance to return into service. We have absolute confidence in our independent nuclear deterrent.

"We do not provide further details on submarine operations for obvious national security reasons."

(Reporting by Stephen Addison, editing by G Crosse)
https://www.yahoo.com/news/british-missile-test-malfunctioned-last-off-u-coast-000018600.html

Offline Skyrocket

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Interesting that the word "consecutive" for Trident-2 successful launches has dissapeared after press-release http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2011/march/cLockheedMartin-BuiltTrid.html It was 135th successful launch in a row - on March 1, 2011. It was DASO-22 launch.

In press-release http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2012/march/lockheed-martin-built-trident-ii-d5-missile-achieves-137th-succe.html said that it was 137th successful launch - on February 22, 2012. It was DASO-23 launch.

I see that there was FCET-44 launch sometime in 2011. So I think that there were two FCET-44 launches, not one. One of these launches was 136th successful and one was a failure.

Good point. That leaves also the possibility open, that there may have been more failed launches afterwards.

Offline Stan Black

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Interesting that the word "consecutive" for Trident-2 successful launches has disappeared after press-release http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2011/march/cLockheedMartin-BuiltTrid.html It was 135th successful launch in a row - on March 1, 2011. It was DASO-22 launch.

In press-release http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2012/march/lockheed-martin-built-trident-ii-d5-missile-achieves-137th-succe.html said that it was 137th successful launch - on February 22, 2012. It was DASO-23 launch.

I see that there was FCET-44 launch sometime in 2011. So I think that there were two FCET-44 launches, not one. One of these launches was 136th successful and one was a failure.

Good observation.

That word makes one final appearance:-
Quote
Lockheed Martin-Built Trident II D5 Missile Achieves 143 Successful Test Flights…
…was the 10th consecutive successful Trident II D5 missile test flight by the U.K. since 1994
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2012/october/1031-ss-trident.html

Offline Star One

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Interesting that the word "consecutive" for Trident-2 successful launches has disappeared after press-release http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2011/march/cLockheedMartin-BuiltTrid.html It was 135th successful launch in a row - on March 1, 2011. It was DASO-22 launch.

In press-release http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2012/march/lockheed-martin-built-trident-ii-d5-missile-achieves-137th-succe.html said that it was 137th successful launch - on February 22, 2012. It was DASO-23 launch.

I see that there was FCET-44 launch sometime in 2011. So I think that there were two FCET-44 launches, not one. One of these launches was 136th successful and one was a failure.


Offline Eric Hedman

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I'm curious if the missile veered off course towards the US, Where did it land?  Or was a destruct signal sent to it?

Offline Star One

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I'm curious if the missile veered off course towards the US, Where did it land?  Or was a destruct signal sent to it?

I'd assume it was destroyed by the launch crew.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Is the British Trident the same as an USN Trident?

Online Poole Amateur

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The missile is the same, the warhead is British.

Offline Star One

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Is the British Trident the same as an USN Trident?

They are pulled from the USN pool.

Offline SgtPoivre

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I'm curious if the missile veered off course towards the US, Where did it land?  Or was a destruct signal sent to it?

I'd assume it was destroyed by the launch crew.
Also I believe the original article talks only about "American mainland" which doesn't necessarily mean the US, does it?
« Last Edit: 01/23/2017 06:05 AM by SgtPoivre »

Offline RonM

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I'm curious if the missile veered off course towards the US, Where did it land?  Or was a destruct signal sent to it?

I'd assume it was destroyed by the launch crew.
Also I believe the original article talks only about "American mainland" which doesn't necessarily mean the US, does it?

"American" is used to refer to the USA. You would think that it would refer to the North American and South American continents, but that's not how the word is normally used.

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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(Could the title of this thread please be fixed? "Veered of course towards the US" is a bit misleading. Unless, off course, it was a politically motivated action...)
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline Star One

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(Could the title of this thread please be fixed? "Veered of course towards the US" is a bit misleading. Unless, off course, it was a politically motivated action...)

I merely paraphrased what was in the original article I posted.

Offline Star One

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An unnamed official in the US has confirmed the test was a failure and the missile auto destructed.

Quote
Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reported that the missile veered towards the US coast, but the US official told CNN that this trajectory was part of an automatic self-destruct sequence. The official said the missile diverted into the ocean -- an automatic procedure when missile electronics detect an anomaly.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/23/europe/trident-missile-failure-theresa-may/
« Last Edit: 01/23/2017 05:16 PM by Star One »

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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(Must.. not... say... anything...) gah - well that was disarming!
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline Star One

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(Must.. not... say... anything...) gah - well that was disarming!

Corrected. Blame my iPhone auto correct.

Offline Jim

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US and British subs do test launches just off the coast of Florida on the Eastern Range.  The same range assets that monitor launches from CCAFS and KSC are used for support of these tests.  Additionally, there is a Launch Area Support Ship monitoring the launch.  Just like any rocket, if it goes off course, range safety takes care of it.  There was no danger to the US.  Just remember, this isn't the first time



    At 6:39


Offline Star One

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I've seen it suggested that there could have been a trajectory mismatch that caused it to auto destruct. How would something like that occur, human error?
« Last Edit: 01/23/2017 05:37 PM by Star One »

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