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LM's Trident FBM fires 120 times in a row

SILVERDALE, Wash., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy last week carried out a successful test firing of a Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile.

The Fleet Ballistic Missile, or FBM, was constructed by Lockheed Martin. "The Navy launched the unarmed missile from the submerged submarine USS Henry M. Jackson in the Pacific Ocean," the company said in a statement last week.

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"The Trident II D5 missile now has achieved 120 consecutive successful test launches since 1989 – a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle," Lockheed Martin said.

"What does it take to succeed in 120 tests in nearly two decades? It takes the well-known vision of our Navy Strategic Systems Programs customer, who focuses on partnership and mission success," said Tory Bruno, vice president and general manager of Strategic Missile Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy's Trident Missile prime contractor.

"It also takes the discipline of the Navy crews responsible for D5 operation and the talent of the Lockheed Martin personnel who designed, produced and support this missile," Bruno said.

"The missile launch was part of the Demonstration and Shakedown Operation -- DASO -- to certify USS Henry M. Jackson for deployment, following a shipyard overhaul period and conversion from Trident I C4 to Trident II D5 configuration," Lockheed Martin said.

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"The Navy performs 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 and 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," the company said.

"First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard 12 Trident II Ohio-class submarines and four 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," the company said.

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