Thursday, 5 November 2009

The day we went to Bangor - 3

Fact Sheet: Trident Submarine & Missile System

Trident submarines serve as the sea based nuclear launch system of the Air, Land, and Sea Nuclear Triad supported by the US government. The U.S. currently has 14 nuclear-powered Trident ballistic-missile (SSBN) submarines.  Trident submarines are 560 feet in length, or nearly two football fields.  Each submarine can carry 24 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) designated Trident D5 and each missile can carry up to eight 100 kiloton nuclear warheads (about 30 times the explosive force as the Hiroshima bomb).

 The Trident D5 missile stands 44.6 feet high and originally had a range of 4,230 nautical miles with a full load of warheads, and up to 6000+ nautical miles with a reduced load of warheads. Upgrades and Life Extension Programs may have changed some specifications.  Warheads are either Mark-4/W76 or Mark-5/W88.

  • 100:         Number of kilotons on ONE Trident W76 warhead
  • 455:       Number of kilotons on ONE Trident W88 warhead
  • 345,600:  Total number of kilotons deployed on Trident fleet
  • 14:            Number of kilotons on atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima
  • 150,000:  Number of people killed by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima
  • 1,028 minimum; 4,885 maximum:  Number of potential Hiroshimas  each Trident is capable of destroying

  • $66,000,000:  Price of ONE Trident II D5 missile
  • 14:          Number of nuclear- armed submarines the Navy wants to deploy through 2042
  • $60,000,000:  Cost of health insurance for 60,000 children
  • $10,000,000,000:  Annual cost of providing sanitary water to 2.4 billion people worldwide who now lack it
  • $59,000,000,000:  Cost of building housing for 6000,000 homeless families in the US
  • $170,200,000,000 (low estimate):  Total cost of the ENTIRE Trident program through year 2042

Naval Submarine Base Kitsap-Bangor is located 20 miles west of Seattle on the deep waters of Hood Canal in Washington State.  It is the home to the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal, housing more than 2,000 nuclear warheads. This is approximately 24% of the entire U.S. arsenal. The Bangor Base presently houses more nuclear warheads than the countries of England, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea combined.

 There are eight Tridents based at the Bangor Base; six operate out of Kings Bay, GA.  The Trident submarines at Bangor are likely to be used first in any nuclear attack, either as an isolated tactical assault on a specific site, bunker, or weapons location, or in a larger strategic nuclear attack. The D5 missile is capable of traveling over 1,370 miles in less than 13 minutes, allowing for a US nuclear strike anywhere on planet earth within 15 minutes.