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UK’s N-deterrent missile system misfires during test, again: Report

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LONDON: Britain’s Trident nuclear-deterrent system misfired during a test last month, sending a missile crashing into the ocean off the Florida coast near the submarine that launched it, Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday. The ministry of defence confirmed that an “anomaly” had occurred during the test but said Britain’s “nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective”.
With defence secretary Grant Shapps on board the HMS Vanguard to witness the test, Sun said, the first-stage boosters on the missile – equipped with dummy warheads – failed to ignite.The result marked the second successive test failure of a Trident missile after one was reported to have veered off course in 2016, an embarrassing outcome for a country that once boasted the largest and most powerful naval force in the world.
“It left the submarine but it just went plop, right next to them,” Sun quoted an unspecified source as saying.
In a statement, Shapps said, “There are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpiles,” he said. “Nor are there any implications for our ability to fire our nuclear weapons, should the circumstances arise.” He gave no further details, citing national security. The govt could face questions over the failure at a time of heightened global tensions. Earlier this month, one of the UK’s two flagship aircraft carriers, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, had to be withdrawn from the largest Nato drill since the Cold War over a propeller issue.

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