PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 28, 2023) - An unarmed Trident II D5LE missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana (SSBN 743), marking a successful Demonstration and Shakedown Operation-32 (DASO-32) off the coast of San Diego, California, Wednesday. The primary objective of a DASO is to evaluate and demonstrate the readiness of the SSBN's Strategic Weapon System (SWS) and crew before operational deployment following the submarine's engineered refueling overhaul. DASO-32 is the last DASO conducted by an Ohio-class SSBN coming out of engineering refueling overhaul (ERO), marking the completion of all post-ERO DASOs for the Ohio-class SSBNs. The Trident II D5LE strategic weapon system is the system that will provide the initial SWS capability for the Columbia-class SSBN. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin Tang)
Powered by Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) solid rocket motors, one Trident II D5 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) was successfully flight tested as part of the U.S. Navy’s Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 32 (DASO-32) event.
The Navy exercise, known as DASO 32, demonstrates the readiness of the USS Louisiana (SSBN-743) crew and certifies the submarine for deployment.
Successful results from the exercise increases the D5 SLBM test record to 191 successful launches with no motor failures.
Some motors that supported the unarmed flight test were the oldest Trident II D5 motors flown to date – demonstrating their reliability and proven performance.
In partnership with the U.S. Navy and prime contractor Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman is modernizing and digitizing Trident II D5 manufacturing processes, including the implementation of advanced digital models, to further enhance manufacturing and enable sustained production for future demand.
Northrop Grumman’s strategic motors have provided propulsion success for 191 successful test launches since their deployment to the fleet. That is the kind of performance the Navy has come to rely upon to meet national defense readiness with Northrop Grumman solid rocket motor technology to power the Trident II Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles.
The Trident II D5/D5LE SLBM is a three-stage missile currently deployed on U.S. Ohio-class and U.K. Vanguard-class submarines and will be carried aboard U.S. Columbia-class and U.K. Dreadnought-class submarines in the future. Northrop Grumman, under a contract from Lockheed Martin, manufactures solid-propulsion motor systems for all three stages of the Trident II missile. The company has delivered over two thousand Trident II D5 motors and cast nearly 87 million pounds of propellant since production began in 1985.
Northrop Grumman has supported the Navy’s deterrence mission for over six decades, supplying propulsion for the nation’s Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine-launched systems starting with Polaris, Poseidon C3, Trident I C4 and Trident II D5/D5LE, which is expected to continue service into the 2040s.
Building on its flight-proven foundation, Northrop Grumman is optimizing its best-in-class solid rocket motor technologies through various digital transformation and modernization efforts to improve manufacturing processes, increase efficiency, enhance reliability and support future plans for the sea-based leg of the nuclear triad.