The USS Maryland, a U.S. Navy submarine, launched an unarmed Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile built by Lockheed Martin in the Atlantic Ocean for a successful test flight Aug. 31.
The flight test was an element of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO-27) to certify the submarine’s crew and weapon system for strategic outload and patrol. It was the 161st successful Trident II launch since design completion in 1989.
“When it comes to the strategic deterrence mission, the Trident II D5 industry team is focused on enabling the U.S. Navy to deliver credibility and unmatched reliability,” said Eric Scherff, vice president of the Fleet Ballistic Missile program for Lockheed Martin. “We are building on a 60-year partnership with the Navy to ensure Trident remains capable for the decades to come through our shared robust flight test plan.”
The missile was converted into a test configuration using a test missile kit produced by Lockheed Martin that contains range safety devices, tracking systems and flight telemetry instrumentation.
The Trident II D5 missile is deployed aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class submarines and Royal Navy Vanguard-class to deter nuclear aggression. The three-stage ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carry multiple independently targeted reentry bodies.
Lockheed Martin has a long track record of success in engineering, evolving and sustaining ballistic missile systems. The company has been the Navy’s strategic missile prime contractor since Dec. 27, 1955 – one of the longest government and industry partnerships for a major U.S. weapon system. Lockheed Martin has also continuously supported the U.S. Air Force’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile mission since 1955.