USS Maryland (SSBN 738) launched unarmed Trident II D5 missile

11 September 2016 (Last Updated September 11th, 2016 18:30)

The US Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maryland (Blue) (SSBN-738) has launched an unarmed Trident II D5 missile in the Eastern Test Range off the coast of Florida, marking the completion of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation.

The US Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maryland (Blue) (SSBN-738) has launched an unarmed Trident II D5 missile in the Eastern Test Range off the coast of Florida, marking the completion of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation.

The operation, named DASO-27, also marks the 161st successful test flight of the Trident II D5 missile.

DASO-27 was primarily aimed to test and demonstrate the operational readiness of a SSBN's strategic weapon system and crew before being deployed after its midlife refuelling overhaul.

"It is designed as a three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile which can travel a nominal range of 4,000nm."

Constructed by General Dynamics, the USS Maryland is the 13th of the 18 Ohio-class submarines deployed into the US Navy.

The 109.73m-long vessel displaces 18,750t and is powered by a nuclear reactor to operate at a speed of more than 20k.

USS Maryland is currently deployed into the Atlantic Fleet and homeported in Kings Bay, Georgia.

Lockheed Martin-built Trident II D5 is the new generation submarine-launched fleet ballistic missiles of the US Navy.

It is designed as a three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile which can travel a nominal range of 4,000nm and can carry multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles.

First deployed in 1990, the Trident II D5 missile is currently deployed aboard the US Navy’s Ohio-class and the UK Royal Navy’s Vanguard-class submarines.


Image: Trident II D5 missile launches from USS Maryland. Photo: courtesy of US Navy Photo John Kowalski/Released.