Lockheed Martin-Built Trident II D5 Missile Achieves a Total of 148 Successful
Test Flights Since 1989
U.S. Navy has conducted four successful test flights of the Trident
II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles built by Lockheed Martin. The U.S. Navy
launched the unarmed missiles Sept. 10 and 12 in the Atlantic Ocean
from a submerged Ohio-class submarine home-ported at Naval Submarine
Base Kings Bay, Georgia.
A Trident II launch from a submerged submarine.
Picture: US Navy
event marked the 145th, 146th, 147th and 148th successful test flights
of the D5 missile since design completion in 1989 – a reliability
record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile.
“This ultra-capable system serves a critical role in deterring
aggression,” said Doug White, vice president of Fleet Ballistic
Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy’s
Trident missile prime contractor. “We are dedicated to supporting
Navy Strategic Systems Programs in assuring the system’s continued
readiness, reliability, performance and affordability.”
Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile components. (Lockheed Martin illustration)
launched the missiles as part of Follow-on Commander’s Evaluation
Tests. The missiles had been converted into test configurations using
kits produced by Lockheed Martin that contain range safety devices and
flight telemetry instrumentation. As required by the Department of Defense’s
National Command Authority, the U.S. Navy conducts a continuing series
of operational system evaluation tests of the Trident Strategic Weapon
System under the testing guidelines of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard U.S. Navy
Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy 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 bodies. The Fleet Ballistic Missile team has produced six generations,
each more capable than its predecessor: the Polaris A1, Polaris A2,
Polaris A3, Poseidon C3, Trident I C4 and Trident II D5 missiles.
Lockheed Martin has been the Navy’s strategic missile prime contractor
since the program’s inception in 1955. The United States and the
United Kingdom signed the Polaris Sales Agreement in 1963, which was
modified in 1982 to provide for the Trident II D5 missile system. Since
1968, Lockheed Martin has provided program management and engineering
services to the Royal Navy under the terms of the agreement.