US Completes Upgrade Of Submarine-Launched Trident Nuclear Missile - Energy Dept.

US Completes Upgrade of Submarine-Launched Trident Nuclear Missile - Energy Dept.

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th January, 2019) The United States had completed an upgrade of 1970s-era nuclear warheads for submarine launched Trident II missiles, an early breakthrough in effort to extend the service life of the nation's aging nuclear arsenal, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced on Thursday.

"Today ... we are celebrating the conclusion of the W76-1 Life Extension Program," the NNSA said in a Facebook post. "Thousands of #NNSA team members from across the country have worked for more than two decades to develop, produce, and deploy the W76-1, an effort that will extend the lifespan of this strategic weapon for decades."

Energy Secretary Rick Perry was on hand for the announcement, which was made by senior NNSA officials at the Department of Energy's Pantex nuclear weapons in Armarillo, Texas, according to the statement.

All of the Navy's W76-0 warheads, introduced in the late 1970s, have been updated to the W76-1 design under a program launched in September 2008. Work on the life-extension program was completed in December, according to the NNSA.

The W76-1 warhead is placed on the re-entry vehicle for the submarine-launched Trident II D5 ballistic missile.

The upgrade marks the first in a major life-extension success for the aging US strategic nuclear triad of land, sea and air-launched missiles, according to the NNSA.

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