The UK's Defence Minister has reiterated his "absolute confidence" in Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent following a second successive failed missile test from a Royal Navy submarine.  

The failed test came from HMS Vanguard, which had Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and the head of the Royal Navy aboard, on January 30 2024, British media reported on Wednesday.  

British tabloid The Sun said the missile's booster rockets failed and it landed in the sea close to the submarine in an incident that was described by the BBC as "highly embarrassing for both the UK and the US manufacturer of the Trident missile".

The BBC said each missile was worth around £17m ($21.5m), with the last test, in 2016, also ending in failure when the missile veered off course. It added that HMS Vanguard had recently concluded a seven-year refit.

In a written statement to British Parliament, Shapps said "an anomaly did occur" but added that Trident remained "effective, dependable, and formidable".

"The test reaffirmed the effectiveness of the UK's nuclear deterrent, in which the government has absolute confidence," he said.

"The submarine and crew were successfully certified and will rejoin the operational cycle as planned. "On this occasion, an anomaly did occur, but it was event specific and there are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpiles.

"Nor are there any implications for our ability to fire our nuclear weapons, should the circumstances arise in which we need to do so."