Royal Navy Conducts Successful Test of a Lockheed Martin- Built Trident II D5 Missile
SUNNYVALE, CA, 25-SEP-00 -- A Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM), built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, CA, was successfully flight tested Thursday at the U.S. Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, FL. The test was a demonstration and shakedown operation (DASO) conducted from the British submarine HMS Vengeance (UK SSBN-08). The DASO's purpose is to certify the crew, weapon system and submarine for operational deployment.
This latest launch represents the 90th consecutive successful flight test of the Trident II D5 submarine launched ballistic missile. Additionally, it extends the streak of successful test flights for the system that began in December 1989. No other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle in the world has amassed such a remarkable record of reliability and mission success.
We are extremely proud of the perfect 10-year, 100-percent reliability record achieved by the Trident II D5 missile, said Steve Parsons, Space Systems, vice president, Strategic Missile Programs. We also want to congratulate the Royal Navy for attaining successful certification for operational service of the fourth and final Vanguard-class Trident submarine.
The Trident II D5 missile is the latest generation of submarine launched ballistic missiles built by Missiles & Space Operations. It is a three-stage, solid propellant; inertial-guided submarine launched ballistic missile. It measures 44.5 ft in length, is 83 inches in diameter, weighs 130,000 lbs., has a range greater than 4000 nautical miles, and carries up to 12 Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs).
The UK strategic nuclear deterrent consists of four British-built Vanguard-class Trident ballistic missile submarines. Each submarine can carry 16 Trident II D5 missiles. The first UK submarine, the HMS Vanguard, deployed on her maiden operational patrol in December 1994. The HMS Vengeance was commissioned in November 1999. The UK Trident force operates from the submarine base at Faslane on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland, with an associate Armament Depot at nearby Coulport. In recent years, the British government has purchased 58 Trident II D5 missiles from Space Systems for its strategic submarine force.
The United Kingdom has relied on Lockheed Martin built submarine launched ballistic missiles for its strategic deterrence mission requirements since April 1963 when it signed the Polaris Missile Sales Agreement (PSA). In 1982, at the request of the British government, the PSA was modified to provide for the sale of the Trident II D5 ballistic missile system, associated equipment and related system support. In the mid-1990's the U.K. began replacing the Polaris system with the Trident II D5 missile system. Since 1956, Lockheed Martin Space Systems has produced six successive generations of submarine launched ballistic missiles: the Polaris (A1), Polaris (A2), Polaris (A3), Poseidon (C3), Trident I (C4) and the Trident II (D5) missiles.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems - Missiles & Space Operations, Sunnyvale, CA, is an operating company within Lockheed Martin Space Systems, headquartered in Denver, CO. It is a world leader in the design, production and integration of systems for space-based telecommunications, defensive and strategic missiles, remote sensing and space science. Its diversified business base ranges from the U.S. government to global commercial customers through its operating unit, Commercial Space Systems.