SSBN Launches Fleet Ballistic Missiles
An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine assigned to Submarine Group 9 completed a Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Test (FCET) Feb. 16, resulting in four successful test flights of Trident II D5 missiles. Designated FCET-53, the operation spanned a three-day period.
The primary objective of an FCET is to obtain, under operationally representative conditions, valid reliability, accuracy, and performance of the missile system for use by Commander, Strategic Command and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Safety of the public was paramount throughout the mission. The missiles were unarmed and all launches were conducted from the sea, flew over the sea, and landed in the sea. At no time did the missiles fly over land.
A credible, effective nuclear deterrent is essential to national security and the security of U.S. allies and friends. The Trident II D5 missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile which is one part of the nation's strategic deterrent triad. As the most survivable leg of the triad, it provides the national command authority with assured second-strike capability. Since its introduction to the fleet in 1989, the Trident II D5 missile has completed 165 successful test flights.