The US navy has successfully flight tested two Lockheed Martin Trident II D5 ballistic missiles.
The Navy launched the unarmed missiles in the Pacific Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine. The missiles were converted into test configurations using kits produced by Lockheed Martin that contain range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
The test flights were part of a demonstration and shakedown operation, which the Navy uses to certify a submarine for deployment following an overhaul.
To support the US Navy Strategic Systems Programs, Lockheed Martin is incorporating modernized electronics technology to cost effectively prolong the service life of the D5 missile design on current and next-generation submarine platforms.
These two missile flights formally qualify the new flight control and interlocks electronics packages for deployment in 2017. The modernized avionics subsystems, which control key missile functions during flight, enable missile life extension through 2042.
The company also is transitioning to designing components in a digital environment and using 3-D printing to efficiently produce prototypes.
The Trident II D5 missile is deployed aboard US Navy Ohio-class and UK Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines to deter nuclear aggression. The three-stage ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carry multiple independently targeted re-entry bodies.