U.S. Navy Conducts Final Flight-Tests of Lockheed Martin-built Trident I C4 Fleet Ballistic Missiles
SUNNYVALE, CA, 12/19/2001 -- The U.S. Navy yesterday successfully fired three TRIDENT I C4 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems-Missiles & Space Operations, Sunnyvale, Calif. The missiles were fired from the strategic submarine USS OHIO (SSBN 726) in a launch operation conducted on the test range east of Cape Canaveral off the Florida coast. The missile test launches were the last in the series of evaluation tests conducted by the U.S. Navy since the 1970s to monitor the safety, reliability, readiness and performance of the TRIDENT I C4 Strategic Weapon System (SWS). The TRIDENT I C4 SWS will be retired from strategic service in 2005 in favor of the more modern, accurate and supportable TRIDENT II D5 missile system, which is currently deployed in the Atlantic fleet.
Lockheed Martin is extremely proud of the performance record of the TRIDENT I C4 missile, said Tom Morton, vice president, strategic missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Over 25 years and 225 development and operational test flights, the C4 missile achieved an astounding 89% mission success rate. This is a true testament of the quality and reliability built into every product by the dedicated and skilled men and women of Lockheed Martin.
TRIDENT I C4 is a three-stage, solid propellant, inertial-guided submarine-launched ballistic missile. It is 34 ft in long, 74 inches in diameter, weighs 73,000 lbs., has a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles, and carries up to eight Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs).
Operating in the Pacific Ocean aboard six Ohio-class TRIDENT I SSBNs, TRIDENT I C4 missiles are the oldest, continuously operated, Fleet Ballistic Missiles ever deployed by the U.S. Navy. TRIDENT I C4 missiles will continue to serve the nation's strategic deterrence needs for another four years.
The Navy selected Lockheed Martin Space Systems as its prime missile system manufacturer in 1955. Since then, the FBM team has produced the POLARIS (A1), POLARIS (A2), POLARIS (A3), POSEIDON (C3), TRIDENT I (C4) and the TRIDENT II (D5) missile. Between 1976 and 1986 Space Systems produced 570 C4 missiles for the U. S. Navy.
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 a full range of space launch systems, 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.