First Trident Submarine Demonstration and Shakedown Operation in the Pacific
In 2008, the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) commenced Trident II (D5) Demonstration and Shakedown Operations in the Pacific on the USS Henry M. Jackson, culminating with a launch of a Trident D5 missile. The APL Mobile Data Processing Facility was used during this extended exercise to enable on-site analysis of the Trident Strategic Weapon System performance and immediate feedback on any problems identified. APL staff members played key roles throughout this test operation as technical advisors to SSP, coordinating multi-organizational tests and operational procedures and developing the flight test mission plan. APL is also SSP’s designated validation agent for the Pacific Range for range readiness. The use of both the Pacific and Atlantic test ranges provides a stepping stone for testing future generations of new missile systems.
Range Support for Minuteman III Flight Test
APL acts on behalf of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs as the Operational Controller on the Navy Mobile Instrumentation Ship (NMIS). APL is also the terminal area instrumentation systems integration manager for NMIS, directly interfacing with all contractors on NMIS for mission support activities. In 2008, APL provided support for the U.S. Air Force’s long-range Minuteman flight test program with the launch of Glory Trip (GT)-197GM from Vandenberg Air Force Base using instrumentation assets aboard NMIS. The NMIS meteorological, radar, telemetry, and portable impact location system subsystems installed on the NMIS successfully supported the test objectives and collected the required data for detailed evaluation of the flight test.
Net-Centric Prompt Global Strike Planner
APL has developed a prototype of a prompt global strike planning net-centric application that uses a service-oriented architecture. This prototype provided a conceptual framework for future planners and demonstrates the feasibility of this type of application. Building on this concept, the DoD has tasked the Laboratory to develop a prototype Conventional Prompt Global Strike mission planning and analysis tool and directed that this effort be responsive to the acquisition and intelligence communities in addition to the operations planners. This tool will demonstrate development of courses of action for multiple system concepts and will also return visual, qualitative, and quantitative information regarding system performance, such as range, trajectory, accuracy, probability of damage, overflight, and collateral damage. This capability will assist in developing and assessing operational concepts, technology implications, and system concept capabilities for conventional prompt global strike missions.
Conventional Strategic Global Strike
APL is assisting the Navy and Air Force in concept exploration studies for long-range, conventional (non-nuclear) strategic strikes. Examples include retrofitting an existing missile system with a conventional heavy penetrator and evaluating a two-stage ballistic missile with a highly maneuverable reentry vehicle (RV). Such an RV could improve accuracy, extend system range, and mitigate collateral damage effects from spent boosters. Testing these systems will be complicated by the enhanced aerodynamic performance of the RV. The Laboratory assisted the Navy in evaluating potential range sites for demonstration flights for these concepts. Missile designs were developed and flights were simulated to evaluate the feasibility of achieving a land impact.
Emerging Missions and Alternate Payloads for SSGN Submarines
APL is assisting the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs in the study, development, and fielding of SSGN Large Diameter Tube Payloads. The SSGN’s large payload capacity and persistent stealth enable a wide range of missions to be conducted. APL’s contribution includes conducting payload and payload integration trade studies, providing specialty and systems engineering support, and supporting land-based, in-water, and at-sea testing and evaluation efforts.