Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The U.S. Navy Is Upgrading Its Nuclear Arsenal

One of two Trident II D5 missiles tested June 2 by the U.S. Navy. Photo: U.S. Navy

Kris Osborn, National Interest: The U.S. Navy's Most Powerful Weapon (Designed to Destroy Whole Countries) Is Getting a Big Upgrade

The Trident II D5, first fired in the 1990s, is an upgraded version of the 1970s-era Trident I nuclear weapon; the Trident II D5s were initially engineered to serve until 2027, however an ongoing series of upgrades are now working to extend its service life. The Navy is modernizing its arsenal of Trident II D5 nuclear missiles in order to ensure their service life can extend for 25 more years aboard the Navy’s nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet, service leaders said. The 44-foot long submarine-launched missiles have been serving on Ohio-class submarines for 25 years,service leaders explained.

The US Navy is accelerating upgrades to the nuclear warhead for its arsenal of Trident II D5 nuclear-armed submarine launched missiles -- massively destructive weapons designed to keep international peace by ensuring and undersea-fired second-strike ability in the event of a catastrophic nuclear first strike on the US.

The Navy has been working on technical upgrades to the existing Trident II D5 in order to prevent obsolescence and ensure the missile system remains viable for the next several decades.

The Navy has modified an existing deal with Charles Stark Draper Laboratory has to continue work on the missile's MK 6 guidance system, an agreement to continue specific work on the weapon's electronic modules. The modification awards $59 million to the firm, a DoD statement said.

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WNU Editor: This upgrade is not going to be cheap.

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