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Trident II D5 ballistic missile achieves testing milestone

The Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile, equipped with upgraded avionics sub-systems, has passed its 150th test firing, a reliability milestone for large ballistic missiles.
By Richard Tomkins   |   June 6, 2014 at 12:33 PM   |   Comments

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's Trident II D5 ballistic missile has flown successfully in new test flights, setting a reliability record for large ballistic missiles.

Two unarmed missiles, made by Lockheed Martin, were fired in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month from a submerged Ohio-class submarine as part of the vessel's demonstration and shakedown activities following overhaul, the Navy said.

The missiles were in a test configuration and featured upgraded avionics sub-systems that control missile functions during flight.

The sub-systems incorporated current technologies into the missile's electronics to prolong the weapon system's service life on current and next-generation submarines.

"The success of this Life Extension flight is a tribute to the dedication and innovation of the entire government and industry team," said Doug White, Fleet Ballistic Missile programs vice president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "In partnership with Navy Strategic Systems Programs, we set the bar high to provide a credible, reliable and affordable sea-based strategic deterrent for the nation."

The Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile variant was first deployed in 1990 and is used by U.S. Navy Ohio-class submarines and Vanguard submarines of Britain's Royal Navy. It is armed with nuclear warheads. Each missile contains three independently targeted re-entry vehicles.

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