Nuclear missile in accident off US coast

Nuclear missile in accident off US coast



full screen Trident 2 was launched from a submarine. Photo: AP

The British nuclear missile was launched from a submarine off Florida.

Seconds later, the test ended in a crash.

The Minister of Defense was on board and was forced on Wednesday to publicly comment on the failure.

Trident 2 is manufactured by American Lockheed Martin and has been part of both the US and UK nuclear forces since the 90s.

On Tuesday revealed the British newspaper The Sun that a test firing of the missile recently failed.

The incident occurred on January 30 off the coast of Florida. The missile was fired from a British Vanguard submarine, but the launcher failed and the 58-ton projectile sank into the sea.

– It left the submarine but then it was just plumes right next to them, says a source to The Sun.


fullscreen UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

British Defense Minister Grant Shapps was on board and was forced on Wednesday to confirm the failed test.

“On this occasion, a deviation occurred, but it was an isolated case and does not affect the reliability of the Trident missile system in a larger perspective. Nor does it have any consequences for our ability to fire our nuclear weapons, should circumstances arise where we are forced to do so,” he wrote in a statement.

Second miss in a row

The missile would have landed in the Atlantic between Brazil and West Africa. The fact that it crash-landed immediately may have been due to the fact that it was loaded with a dummy, writes CNN.

“The launch would likely have been successful if it had occurred out on patrol with a real nuclear warhead,” the channel states, citing a source.

The BBC notes that the breakdown is “a great embarrassment” to both the British fleet and the American manufacturer. Not only that each missile test costs the equivalent of roughly 220 million Swedish kroner – it is also the second time in a row that a British test firing of the Trident has failed.

The last time, in June 2016, the missile went off course and after what was described as a technical error.


full screen Stock image. Submarine armed with nuclear missile. Photo: Alamy Stock Photo