Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy have successfully launched a Trident II D5 Life Extension Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) from an OHIO-class submarine. This marked the final planned test and extended the missile’s record of success. The test launch took place off the coast of California as part of the Demonstration and Shakedown Operation-32 (DASO-32). The launch brings the total number of successful Trident II D5 tests since its design completion in 1989 to 191, making it the most reliable large ballistic missile.
The successful test demonstrated the readiness of the crew and the strategic weapon system of the Navy submarine USS Louisiana (SSBN 743). It also certified the crew for strategic patrol. The DASO-32 event served as an opportunity to collect data on the performance of the D5 Life Extension missile using a test missile kit provided by Lockheed Martin. This event marked the conclusion of the engineer refueling overhaul from an OHIO-class submarine, and Lockheed Martin is now preparing and modernizing the missile for its future launch platform, the COLUMBIA-class submarines.
Lockheed Martin has been the prime contractor for the design, development, production, test, and sustainment of every variant of submarine-launched ballistic missiles for the U.S. Navy. Their partnership dates back to the Polaris system and continues to the Trident II D5 missile, which will serve as the seaborne leg of the U.S. Nuclear Triad for years to come. The D5 missile is considered the most advanced ballistic missile in the world and is currently deployed on U.S. OHIO-class and UK VANGUARD-class submarines. The Life Extension program has modernized the D5 missile while maintaining its proven performance at a lower cost than designing a new missile.