2005 marks half a century of Lockheed Martin
The heritage of the Navy's SSP organization and its FBM program dates to the Eisenhower administration. On Nov. 17, 1955, Secretary of the Navy Charles Thomas directed the formation of a Special Project Office for the development of the Army-Navy Jupiter intermediate range ballistic missile system. That office evolved into today's SSP organization, which is responsible for the strategic weapons system aboard the FBM submarines that patrol the world's international waters to protect the U.S. and its allies.
The organization's founding was celebrated last month with an event in McLean, Va., that was sponsored by the non-profit SSP Historical, Educational and Recognition Organization, with support from a government and industry team that included Lockheed Martin. Rear Admiral Charles B. Young, Director, SSP, presided over the event, which was attended by military, government, and industry leaders.
"We congratulate the Navy's Strategic Systems Programs on 50 years of outstanding success in contributing to strategic peace," said Tom Morton, vice president of Strategic Missile Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy's prime strategic missile contractor and missile system manager since Dec. 27, 1955. "We are proud to be a part of the team chosen to carry this crucial program forward into the coming decades."
The Navy terminated its involvement with the liquid-fueled JUPITER missile in 1956 and began development of the POLARIS solid-fueled missile, the world's first submarine-launched ballistic missile. Since the program's inception, the FBM team has produced six generations, each more capable than its predecessor: the POLARIS (A1), POLARIS (A2), POLARIS (A3), POSEIDON (C3), TRIDENT I (C4) and the TRIDENT II (D5) missile. First deployed in 1990 and scheduled for operational deployment until 2042, today's TRIDENT II D5 now is aboard 12 of an eventual 14 TRIDENT II-configured Ohio-class submarines. The D5 has achieved a record of 100 percent success in 110 test launches since 1989.
"We are honored to be part of the Strategic Systems Programs heritage of outstanding performance and dedication to country," said John W. O'Neill, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors Undersea Systems business unit, the Navy's prime contractor for the FBM submarine navigation subsystem since 1955. "The team has successfully developed, deployed and supported the most accurate navigation system in the world. We look forward to continuing our support of this critical program as it evolves to meet the challenges of the future."
The Navigation Subsystem has evolved over the last 50 years to the current configuration of an Electrostatically Supported Gyro Navigator (ESGN) and velocity-measuring Navigation Sonar System (NSS). These sensors covertly provide the highly-accurate and reliable navigation outputs required to support today's stringent Trident weapon system requirements.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corporation employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.
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