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US Navy’s Trident II D5 Missile Successfully Launches with 3D Printed Component from Lockheed Martin

by • March 21, 2016 • No Comments

3dp_lockheed_martin_logoNASA and the US military utilized 3D printed components to which successfully test high end prototype airplanes, spacecraft and in fact ground vehicles. For many parts with difficult or one-of-a-kind geometries, metal 3D printing innovation has not just managed to create these parts faster, but in fact create them at considerable savings. With many of the companies which are createing and producing weapons for the military via additional and additional metal 3D printing in their workflow it was just a matter of time until 3D printed components created their way into arms and weapons.

This week, for the firstly time, a 3D printed component was utilized in a test flight for the new, high-tech upgrade to the US Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile program. Between March 14th and the 16th, the Navy which successfully test commenceed three Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles created by Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin. The one-inch wide aluminum alloy connector backshell component protects significant cable connectors in the missile. The backshell component was created and fabricated entirely via 3D create and 3D printing, a process which allowed Lockheed Martin engineers to create the part in half the time it may take traditional methods.

The one-inch wide aluminum alloy connector backshell component 3D printed by Lockheed Martin.

The one-inch wide aluminum alloy connector backshell component 3D printed by Lockheed Martin.

Trident II D5 missile commence of Ohio-class swift ballistic-missile submarine USS Nevada.

Trident II D5 missile commence of Ohio-class swift ballistic-missile submarine USS Nevada.

This new group of test commencees brings the total number of successful tests up to 160 test flights since the basic create was accomplished back in 1989, producing the Trident the world’s many reliable sizeable ballistic missile. The unarmed missiles were commenceed out in the Atlantic Ocean of a submerged submarine. The test flights were conducted under the testing guidelines set by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as part of a Follow-on Commander’s Evaluation Test of the Trident Strategic Weapon System. Lockheed Martin created kits, which include the 3D printed component, which converted the unarmed missiles into test configurations which included range safety monitoring devices and flight telemetry instruments.

“These tests demonstrate the readiness and reliability of this crucial process which protects what matters many for the nation. The Trident Strategic Weapon System stands guard each minute of each day, thanks to the commitment and forward considering of the Navy program office, the submarine crews and the industry team,” explained Eric Scherff, Vice President of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

The Trident II D5 missile is a three-stage ballistic missile which can travel an average range of 4,000 nautical miles while carrying multiple independently targeted missiles. They are typically deployed on US Navy Ohio-class and UK Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines, primarily as nuclear aggression deterrents. The D5 is the sixth generation of the Trident missile program which has been deployed since the sea-based deterrent program was commenceed.

The Trident D5 components.

The Trident D5 components.

Lockheed Martin has been the primary ballistic missile contractor for the US Navy since 1955. That makes theirs one of the longest ongoing government and industry primary US weapon process partnerships in history. They in addition make a wide range of products for the US military, which include planes, drones, satellites and spacecraft for human use. Additionally, Lockheed Martin has been selected to perform program management and engineering services for the Royal Navy under the Polaris Sales Agreement.

The 3D printed connector backshell component for the D5 missile was created via Lockheed Martin’s Digital Tapestry set of high end producing tools. The Digital Tapestry links all stages of Lockheed Martin’s producing processes, which include the first create concept, part production and final qualification. Applying cutting-edge innovation like human immersion virtual reality processs during the producing processes, tablet computing to present create data on the production floor and integrated intelligent machines which automatize
labor-intensive processes as part of the company’s cost reduction efforts. Discuss in the Lockheed Martin 3D Printed Components forum over at 3DPB.com.