British tests of Trident missiles are rare

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

The test firing of a Trident missile from a Royal Navy submarine has failed, for the second time in a row:

The latest test of the UK’s nuclear deterrent was from HMS Vanguard and was seen by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

The missile’s booster rockets failed and it landed in the sea close to the launch site, according to the Sun, which first reported the malfunction.

Mr Shapps said he has “absolute confidence” in Trident’s submarines, missiles and nuclear warheads.

This is highly embarrassing for both the UK and the US manufacturer of the Trident missile.

British tests of Trident missiles are rare, not least because of the cost. Each missile is worth around £17m and the last test in 2016 also ended in failure when the missile veered off course. Test-fired missiles are not armed with their nuclear warheads.


The missile was supposed to have flown several thousand miles before landing harmlessly in the Atlantic between Brazil and West Africa. Instead, it dropped into the ocean near to where it was launched.


The missiles the UK uses are drawn from a common pool that the US and UK both use, and the US has conducted multiple tests without these kind of problems.


  1. Jim says:

    “Russia’s, China’s, and Best Korea’s nuclear missiles work, I can assure you of that.”

  2. Gaikokumaniakku says:

    This is only marginally related to rocket science, but I believe the nerds will love this story:

    It makes me so happy that I might practice a little bit of calculus, just to celebrate.

  3. Jim says:

    I was greatly amused by Dave McGowan’s Wagging the Moondoggie.

    Aspects of the official account are as ludicrous as when Flat Earthers express terminal confusion at the concept that rockets reach orbit by accelerating parallel to the surface of the Earth.

    Much is like this.

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