THE test firing of a Trident missile from a Royal Navy submarine has failed for the second consecutive time.

The latest test was carried out from HMS Vanguard off the east coast of the United States.

According to The Sun, which first reported the malfunction, the missile’s booster rockets failed and it landed in the sea close to the launch site.

When on patrol, the missiles would usually be armed with a nuclear warhead but these are not fitted for test fires.

READ MORE: SNP MPs fume as LibDems claim they 'reached out' on Gaza motion​

Tests of Trident missiles are rare, not least because of the costs with the price of each missile around £17 million.

Both Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (below) and the head of the Navy were on board when it fired the unarmed test missile in January.

The National: Grant Shapps

It was meant to have flown several thousand miles before landing in the Atlantic between Brazil and west Africa.

However, it instead dropped into the ocean near to where it was launched. The previous test from a UK submarine in 2016 also ended in failure after the missile veered off course.

An anonymous source told The Sun: “It left the submarine but it just went plop, right next to them.”

In a statement on the latest failure, the Ministry of Defence said an anomaly had occurred in the most recent launch.

However, it also said the HMS Vanguard and its crew had been “proven fully capable” in their operations and the test had “reaffirmed the effectiveness of the UK’s nuclear deterrent”.

The statement added that Trident was the “most reliable weapons system in the world” having completed more than 190 successful tests.

Trident is the name of the UK’s system of nuclear weapons, and includes four submarines along with the missiles and warheads.

The submarines are based at Faslane Royal Navy Base on the Firth of Clyde, while the nuclear warheads are stored at the Coulport armaments depot on Loch Long.