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. Trident II D5 Missile Achieves 126 Successful Test Flights

First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard OHIO-class submarines and British 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.
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale CA (SPX) Feb 27, 2009
The U.S. Navy conducted a successful test flight Feb. 13 of a Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) built by Lockheed Martin. The Navy launched the unarmed missile from the submerged submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 731) in the Pacific Ocean.

The Trident II D5 missile now has achieved 126 successful test flights since 1989 - a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.

"The Navy's Strategic Systems Programs has achieved this level of performance with its effective leadership and partnership with the entire Navy and industry team," said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy's Trident missile prime contractor.

"The D5 missile's record of success underscores the readiness and reliability of this key element of our nation's strategic defenses."

The Navy launched the missile as part of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) to certify USS Alabama for deployment, following a shipyard overhaul period and conversion from Trident I C4 to Trident II D5 configuration.

For the test, a missile was converted into a test configuration using a test missile kit produced by Lockheed Martin that contains range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.

First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard OHIO-class submarines and British 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, Utah and Virginia, 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 navigation data required to support today's stringent Trident Weapon System performance requirements. Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors Undersea Systems at Mitchel Field, N.Y., has been the prime contractor for the navigation subsystem aboard fleet ballistic missile submarines since 1955.

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NKorea builds underground missile fuelling station: report
Seoul (AFP) Feb 26, 2009
North Korea has built an underground fuelling station at its long-range missile test site, making it harder for US spy satellites to predict the date of a launch, a news report said Thursday.

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