The Navy’s Trident II D5 missile isn’t just a vital part of the nation’s nuclear triad, it is arguably the most important part. Enemies can target our bomber bases and missile silos in a surprise attack, but they can’t find ballistic missile submarines once they go beneath the waves. That means the D5 missiles carried on those subs are the most survivable part of the triad — the weapons that are assured of the capacity to retaliate, and thus are most critical to deterring aggression. That is why D5 will be carried on the next generation of ballistic missile subs, and why the service’s Strategic Systems Programs office has spent two decades extending the life of every component comprising the D5 weapons system. Without D5, nuclear war and the demise of our civilization would be far more likely. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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