SUNNYVALE, Ca: The U.S. Navy conducted a successful test flight Dec. 19 of a Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) built by Lockheed Martin. The Navy launched the unarmed missile from the submerged submarine USS ALASKA (SSBN 732) in the Atlantic Ocean.
This test marked the 130th consecutive successful test flight of the Trident II D5 missile since 1989 – continuing a 20-year record of reliability that is unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.
“The professionalism of the entire Navy and industry team for the Trident Strategic Weapon System has made possible the 100-percent mission success of the D5 missile in 130 test flights over 20 years,” said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy’s Trident missile prime contractor.
The Navy launched the missile as part of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) to certify USS ALASKA for deployment, following a shipyard overhaul period. For the test, a 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 is currently aboard OHIO-class submarines 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., is the Trident missile prime contractor and program manager for the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs. Lockheed Martin Space Systems employees, principally in California, Georgia, Florida, Washington, Utah and Virginia, support the design, development, production, test, and operation and sustainment of the Trident Strategic Weapon System. Lockheed Martin Space Systems has been the Navy’s prime strategic missile contractor since the inception of the program more than 50 years ago.
The test also involved the Lockheed Martin-integrated navigation subsystem that provides navigation data required to support today’s stringent Trident Weapon System performance requirements. Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors Undersea Systems at Mitchel Field, N.Y., has been the prime contractor for the navigation subsystem aboard fleet ballistic missile submarines since 1955.
Altogether, nearly 3,000 employees throughout the Lockheed Martin Corporation support the Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile program.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.