Memorandum from the Ministry of Defence
concerning HMS VengeanceTrident D5 Missile Firing (11 September
The fourth of the Royal Navy's Vanguard Class
Trident submarines, HMS Vengeance, is shortly to undertake a single
Trident D5 missile test firing on the United States' Eastern Test
Range off the coast of Florida. This firing, the culmination of
her Trident Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO), is currently
scheduled for 21 September 2000.
On completion of her DASO, HMS Vengeance will
sail to the US Navy's Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic at Kings
Bay, Georgia, to load unarmed Trident missiles as part of the
preparations for her entry into operational service early next
You will wish to note that under the terms of
the voluntary early warning initiative agreed in 1998, we are
providing advance notification to Russia, on an in confidence
basis, of the missile firing five days before the event. We are
also informing France as a close nuclear ally.
I should be grateful for this notification to
be treated as restricted until after the event.