U.S. Navy Trident II D5 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM)
U.S. Navy Trident II D5 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM)

US Navy Awards Lockheed Martin $559 Million for Trident II Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile

The U.S Navy awarded Lockheed Martin $559 million for Trident II (D5) missiles. Fiscal 2021 weapons procurement (U.S. Navy) funds in the amount of $477 million; United Kingdom (Royal Navy) funds in the amount of $74 million; and fiscal 2020 weapons procurement (U.S. Navy) in the amount of $8 million are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The UGM-133A Trident II, or Trident D5 is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), built by Lockheed Martin Space in Sunnyvale, California, and deployed with U.S. and Royal navies. It was first deployed in March 1990, and remains in service. The contract covers Trident II (D5) missile production and deployed systems support. Work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2026.

The Trident II D5 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) is an improved SLBM with greater accuracy, payload, and range than the earlier Trident C-4. It can carry multiple independently targeted re-entry bodies for a maximum range of over 7,360km. It is a key element of the U.S. strategic nuclear triad and strengthens U.S. strategic deterrence. The Trident II is considered to be a durable sea-based system capable of engaging many targets. It enhances the U.S. position in strategic arms negotiation with performance and payload flexibility that can accommodate active treaty initiatives. The Trident II’s increased payload allows nuclear deterrence to be accomplished with fewer submarines, and its high accuracy—approaching that of land-based missiles—enables it to be used as a first strike weapon.

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Trident II missiles are carried by 14 US Ohio and four British Vanguard-class submarines, with 24 missiles on each Ohio class and 16 missiles on each Vanguard class (the number of missiles on Ohio-class submarines will be reduced to 20 each starting in 2023, in compliance with the New Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty). There have been 177 successful test flights of the D5 missile since design completion in 1989,[21] the most recent being from USS Maine in February 2020. There have been fewer than 10 test flights that were failures, the most recent being from HMS Vengeance off the coast of Florida in June 2016. The D5 is the sixth in a series of missile generations deployed since the sea-based deterrent program began 60 years ago. The Trident D5LE (life-extension) version will remain in service until 2042.

U.S. Navy Trident II D5 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM)
An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) off the coast of California. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Program’s demonstration and shakedown operation certification process. The successful launch certified the readiness of an SSBN crew and the operational performance of the submarine’s strategic weapons system before returning to operational availability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ronald Gutridge/Released)
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