So, it seems the 131st consecutive successful Trident test flight (*) went off in an epic fashion! In Saudi!


(UPDATE: Looks like the story is getting walked back a bit…the AP’s source, “A Western military official in Saudi Arabia” is being contradicted by Pentagon spokespersons–who say there was no launch of any kind.)

How, exactly, does one test a “submarine-launched ballistic missile” from Saudi territory?

“The United States test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads during a joint military exercise Wednesday with Saudi Arabia, a Western military official said.

The Trident missile launch was carried out in the kingdom, the official said, but he would not give a precise location. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.”

Was this missile fired from a land-sharkesque Sand Sub? Did we ship a missile over for a launch from a Saudi facility? Or fire it from a sub elsewhere?

I mean, while this may explain why some Tehran IP addresses have been, ah, oh, rather avid consumers of my home-blog,, I really wonder what is going on here.

What an odd story….If this missile launched from the Saudi’s sandy seas, at a Saudi launch facility, then…I must ask: Do we really want to export this kind of strike platform? There?


We need to know more.

A lot more–Did America conduct an unprecedented Persian Gulf/Red Sea/Indian Ocean launch….for a missile defense test? Or is this the new face of Prompt Global Strike–a little project you can read more about in April’s USNI Proceedings)?

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(*) Estimated. H/T:

Posted by Defense Springboard in Air Force, Foreign Policy, Navy
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  • tps

    Can we say: “April Fools”?

  • Snerk. Si se puede!

  • I *seriously* do not see this happening and deeply suspect the “source.” From first hand experience, for starters, we don’t just hose off a Trident any where without first going through a notification process and issue flight bans and NOTMs (unless it is really in anger — then I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this…). When we do fire a Trident, it is from a range to an instrumented test range so that we can collect information on the entirety of flight. Thinking about the location of those ranges and a (hypothetical) shot form the AG/PG/NAS/Red Sea (???!!!) and corresponding trajectories — nah, just not passing the smell test.
    Anything else is just a (monumental) waste of scarce dollars.
    w/r, SJS
    P.S. Did anyone at the Post happen to check the date on the press release by this so-called “Western military spokesman”? coughaprilfoolscough….

  • Yeah…crazy story, eh?

  • They launched a Trident from within the Kingdom? How? I mean, they sure didn’t pull an Ohio boat ashore. That leaves either the Gulf or the Red Sea as launch points. And I’d be shocked to learn they launched a Trident from those waters.

    Now, an Ohio SSGN in those areas would make sense.

    We need more information.