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Lockheed Martin receives Trident missile contract

The $64.6 million contract is for engineering on the Common Compartment Strategic Weapons System, including maintenance and testing of the Trident missile system.

By Stephen Carlson
A Trident II D-5 ballistic missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Virginia during a missile test at the Atlantic Missile Range on June 2, 2014. Photo courtesy Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahgren Division
A Trident II D-5 ballistic missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Virginia during a missile test at the Atlantic Missile Range on June 2, 2014. Photo courtesy Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahgren Division

May 1 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. has been awarded a $64.6 million contract for engineering on the Common Compartment Strategic Weapons System. The contract includes testing of a special test vehicle, maintenance and the integration of the Trident D5 II SLBM to the system.

The contract could increase to $94.1 million. Most of the work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif. And Cape Canaveral, Fl. Smaller contracts will be completed at multiple locations across the country. It is expected to be completed by February of 2022.

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Britain will contribute $1.9 million to the program to continue their collaboration on the Trident missile. The Trident has been an issue of some controversy there because of its cost and questions as to whether Britain should keep it's undersea nuclear deterrent.

The D5 Trident II is the primary submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missile for both the United States and Britain. It is a Multiple Independent Launch Vehicles, or MIRV, capable system that can shower a wide area with up to twelve nuclear warheads from a single missile.

It is the primary missile for both the U.S. Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine and the British Vanguard-class. With future upgrades, the Trident II is expected to be the standard SLBM until at least 2040.

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Ballistic missile submarines are a key part of the United States' nuclear triad. Capable of operating underwater for months, they are extremely difficult to detect and are meant to deliver a counterstrike if land and air-based nuclear forces are destroyed.

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