The U.S. Navy supported the Oct. 23 launch of a U.K. Royal Navy Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) built by Lockheed Martin. The unarmed missile was launched from the submerged Royal Navy submarine HMS Vigilant in the Atlantic Ocean.
The test marked the 143rd successful test flight of the Trident II D5 missile since design completion in 1989 – a reliability record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.
“The Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy continue to demonstrate the readiness and reliability of this highly capable system,whose mission is to discourage aggression,” said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Trident missile prime contractor. “The cooperation of both governments, supported by industry, provides a credible submarine-based strategic deterrent.”