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A British nuclear-missile launch failed for the 2nd time in a row — yet another embarrassment for the Royal Navy

A British nuclear-missile launch failed for the 2nd time in a row — yet another embarrassment for the Royal Navy
  • A test of the UK's nuclear deterrent failed for the second time in a row.

  • Britain's Ministry of Defence said "an anomaly" occurred during the firing of a Trident missile.

  • It's the latest in a series of embarrassing failings by the UK's Royal Navy.

The test firing of a British nuclear missile from a Royal Navy submarine failed for the second time in a row in yet another humiliation for the Royal Navy.

The Trident II ballistic missile crashed into the sea close to the launch site off the coast of Florida, according to The Sun newspaper, which first reported the misfiring.

Adding to the embarrassment, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps was on board the launch submarine, HMS Vanguard, at the time of the botched test in January, the report said.

The Ministry of Defence told Business Insider that "an anomaly" occurred during the firing of Britain's nuclear deterrent. The exact cause of what went wrong remains top secret.

"The test has reaffirmed the effectiveness of the UK's nuclear deterrent, in which we have absolute confidence," said the MoD spokesperson.

"We are confident that the anomaly was event specific, and therefore there are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpile," they added.

"The UK's nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective."

Trident is the name of the UK's nuclear-weapons program, which includes a group of four submarines, long-range missiles, and nuclear warheads.

At least one of the submarines is on constant patrol to deter threats, and the warheads are not fitted onto the missiles during tests.

Tests of Trident missiles are rare, in part because each one of the weapons costs about $21 million, the BBC reported.

Officials say the Trident missile remains one of the most effective in the world and has successfully completed 190 tests.

The last test took place in 2016 when a British Navy submarine off the coast of the US fired a missile toward a preestablished target in the sea near the coast of West Africa. However, it misfired and instead veered toward the US, The Times reported.

The January test failure is the latest in a series of embarrassing incidents for the Royal Navy, which critics say has long been underfunded.

Earlier this month, the Royal Navy's two aircraft carriers suffered technical problems and were unable to join NATO exercises off the coast of Norway.

The Trident II missiles were designed in the US by Lockheed Martin.

Correction: February 22, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated the cost of a Trident missile. One missile costs about $21 million, not $21,000. The story also misspelled the name of the UK defense secretary. It is Grant Shapps, not Schapps.

Read the original article on Business Insider