5 June 2014
US Navy´s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile, built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), has achieved 150 successful test flights, setting a new reliability record for large ballistic missiles, according to a statement from Lockheed.
The Navy launched two unarmed missiles June 2 in the Atlantic Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine, marking the 149th and 150th successful test flights of the missile since design completion in 1989.
The test flights were part of a demonstration and shakedown operation, which the Navy uses to certify a submarine for deployment following an overhaul. The missiles were converted into test configurations with kits containing range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.
First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard US Navy Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries independently targeted reentry bodies.
Lockheed Martin has been the Navy´s strategic missile prime contractor since 1955. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.