Just before dawn on January 25, 1995, a Russian early warning radar detected a rocket launch from the Norwegian Sea, just north of the Arctic Circle. Analysis of the data found something alarming: the rocket appeared to be a U.S. submarine-based nuclear-armed Trident missile. Its trajectory suggested the United States
was planning to explode the nuclear warhead in the atmosphere to blind Russia's early warning radars and hide a large follow-on attack intended to destroy Russian missiles on the ground. This was the kind of scenario the U.S. and Soviet militaries worried about throughout the Cold War.