U.S. Navy Conducts 95th Straight Successful Test Launch of TRIDENT II (D5) Missile Built by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space Operations
SUNNYVALE, CA, March 18th, 2002 -- The U.S. Navy has successfully test fired a TRIDENT II (D5) Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM), built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems--Missiles & Space Operations, a business area of Lockheed Martin Corporation [NYSE: LMT]. The missile, launched over the weekend from the strategic submarine USS ALASKA (SSBN 732) at the Eastern Range off the eastern Florida coast, extends the D5's record to 95 consecutive successful test launches. The latest test launch was the final activity of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) exercise conducted by the blue crew of the USS ALASKA (SSBN 732). The DASO's purpose is to collect system performance data in an operational environment and evaluate the readiness of the weapon system, crew and submarine for operational patrol.
This was the first of four launches scheduled over the coming years as part of the Navy program to convert four TRIDENT Ohio-class fleet ballistic missile submarines currently homeported at the Navy strategic submarine base in Bangor, Wash., to TRIDENT II (D5) capability. The four submarines are the USS ALASKA (SSBN-732), USS NEVADA (SSBN-733), USS HENRY M. JACKSON (SSBN-730), and USS ALABAMA (SSBN-731). These submarines previously carried the older TRIDENT I (C4) missiles.
"We are extremely proud of the perfect performance record of the TRIDENT II (D5) missile system," said Tom Morton, vice president of Strategic Missile Programs at Missiles & Space Operations in Sunnyvale. "Achieving 95 consecutive successful test launches is truly a remarkable feat. We also would like to congratulate the crew of the USS ALASKA for completing a successful DASO."
The USS ALASKA entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in April 2000 to begin her conversion to D5 capability. Following the DASO launch, the ALASKA will return to the shipyard for a three-month Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) period to correct problems and deficiencies discovered during the DASO. The ALASKA will then re-deploy in the Pacific Ocean early this summer.
TRIDENT II (D5) is a three-stage, solid propellant, inertial-guided submarine-launched ballistic missile. It is 44.5 ft in length, 83 inches in diameter, weighs 130,000 lbs., has a range greater than 4,000 nautical miles, and carries up to eight Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs).
TRIDENT II (D5), the sixth generation of FBMs developed by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy, is presently deployed only in the Atlantic Ocean.
Recently, the Navy awarded Lockheed Martin the first of several contracts to extend the service life of the TRIDENT II (D5) missile system from 30 to 44 years to match the extended life of the TRIDENT Ohio-class submarine. The D5 service life extension program will extend D5 missile production through 2013. The program is expected to make the D5 missile system operationally viable to 2042.
The Navy selected Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space as its prime missile systems contractor in 1955. Since then, the FBM team has produced six successive generations of Fleet Ballistic Missiles: POLARIS (A1), POLARIS (A2), POLARIS (A3), POSEIDON (C3), TRIDENT I (C4) and the TRIDENT II (D5).
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include space launch and ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.