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Lockheed Martin-Built Trident Achieves Record 122 Successful Test Launches In A Row

illustration only
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale, CA (SPX) May 22, 2008
The U.S. Navy conducted a successful test launch this month of two Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles (FBMs) built by Lockheed Martin. The Navy launched the unarmed missiles from the submerged submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) in the Pacific Ocean.

The Trident II D5 missile now has achieved 122 consecutive successful test launches since 1989 - a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.

"The exceptional partnership with our Navy Strategic Systems Programs customer accounts for the unmatched record of success of the D5 missile," said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy's Trident missile prime contractor.

"Disciplined performance by the entire Navy and industry team helps to ensure the reliability and credibility of the Fleet Ballistic Missile as demonstrated in test after test."

The Navy launched the missiles as part of a Follow-on Commander Evaluation Test. The Navy conducts a continuing series of operational system evaluation tests to assure the safety, reliability, readiness and performance of the Trident II D5 Strategic Weapon System, as required by the Department of Defense's National Command Authority.

The tests are conducted under the testing guidelines of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

For the tests, operational missiles are converted into inert configurations using test missile kits produced by Lockheed Martin that contain range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.

First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard Trident II Ohio-class submarines and British Trident II 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 vehicles.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the prime contractor and program manager for the U.S. Navy's Trident missile. Lockheed Martin Space Systems employees, principally in California, Georgia, Florida, Washington and Utah, support the design, development, production, test and operation of the Trident strategic weapon system.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems has been the Navy's prime strategic missile contractor since the inception of the program more than 50 years ago.

The test also involved the Lockheed Martin-integrated Navigation Subsystem that provides the highly-accurate and reliable navigation data required to support today's stringent Trident Weapon System performance requirements.

Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors Undersea Systems business unit, Mitchel Field, N.Y., has been the Navy's prime contractor for the Navigation Subsystem aboard FBM submarines since 1955.

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Extensive missile site in China revealed by satellite: analyst
Washington (AFP) May 15, 2008
Commercial satellite imagery has revealed an extensive nuclear missile site in central China with nearly sixty launch pads for medium-range missiles capable of striking Russia or India, a researcher said Thursday.







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