Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin Space Systems has received a $22.3 million contract for fiscal 2019 Trident II missile production.
Work on the contract, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif., with an expected completion date of September 2023. Navy fiscal 2018 weapons procurement funds in the amount of $22.3 million have been obligated at the time of award.
The Trident II D5 is the submarine launched ballistic missile used by both the United States and United Kingdom. It has intercontinental range and can carry several nuclear warheads using multiple independent reentry vehicles designed to shower a wide target area, greatly increasing each missile's destructive capabilities.
The missile forms the sea-based leg of the nuclear "triad" for U.S. nuclear forces and is the sole deployed nuclear weapon system in use by the United Kingdom. They form a difficult to detect and destroy undersea deterrent what would ensure retaliation in the face of an enemy first strike against land missile forces.
The Trident II is currently deployed on U.S. Ohio-class and British Vanguard-class submarines. It is planned to be fielded by the future Columbia-class vessels as well.