USA: Trident II D5 Missile Achieves 135th Consecutive Test Flight
The U.S. Navy conducted a successful test flight March 1 of a Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) built by Lockheed Martin . The Navy launched the unarmed missile from the submerged submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733) in the Pacific Ocean.
This test marked the 135th consecutive successful test flight of the D5 missile since 1989 –a 22-year record of reliability unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.
“This test demonstrates the readiness and reliability not only of the missile, but also of all elements of the Trident II D5 Strategic Weapon System,” said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy’s Trident missile prime contractor. “The commitment of the entire Navy and industry team drives this sustained level of performance.”
The Navy launched the missile as part of Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 22 (DASO-22) to certify USS Nevada for deployment, following a shipyard overhaul period.
The missile was converted into a test configuration using a test missile kit produced by Lockheed Martin that contains range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.
First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile currently is aboard OHIO-class and British VANGUARD-class submarines. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., has been the strategic missile prime contractor for the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs since the inception of the Fleet Ballistic Missile program more than 50 years ago. Lockheed Martin Space Systems employees, principally in California, Georgia, Florida, Washington, Utah, Virginia, and Scotland support the design, development, production, test, and operation and sustainment of the Trident Strategic Weapon System.
Lockheed Martin leads the industry in performance and domain expertise in strategic missile and missile defense systems. Lockheed Martin designs and produces ballistic missiles, interceptors, target missiles and reentry systems with unmatched reliability. Lockheed Martin’s focus on operational excellence yields affordable high-quality systems and services.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 132,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.
Source: Lockheed Martin,March 11, 2011;