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Norwegial oil money finance nuclear missiles

Norwegians common oil fortune is placed in production of nuclear missiles, in spite of the fact that Norway refuses to have nuclear arms placed on the country’s territory.  The investment made into the US arms giant Lockheed Martin makes the Oil Fund a party to the production of the highly advanced Trident II D5 missile.

Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.

Norwegians common oil fortune is placed in production of nuclear missiles, in spite of the fact that Norway refuses to have nuclear arms placed on the country’s territory.  The investment made into the US arms giant Lockheed Martin makes the Oil Fund a party to the production of the highly advanced Trident II D5 missile.

By Pia A. Gaarder

The Oil Fund portfolio as of December 31st 2001, shows that 131 million NOK have been invested into the American weapons company Lockheed Martin. The company’s sub-unit Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Missiles & Space Operations produces one of the world’s most advances nuclear missiles, namely the Trident II D5.
On assignment from the US Navy, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Missiles & Space Operations have developed and constructed the Trident II D5, which is the most modern ballistic missile existing, which is able to carry a nuclear warhead.
On Lockheed Martin’s own web page, “products”-section, the D5 missile is categorized under the missile family “Fleet Ballistc Missiles” (FBM).
Lockheed Martin’s FBM missiles have been a financial success: Today all of the warhead equipped missiles onboard US and UK submarines are produced by Lockheed Martin.

With and without warheads
Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space delivers a complete D5 missile, only without the head. The warheads are installed at Pantex Plant in Texas, a company directly under the US Energy Department. Pantex Plant is the only venue in the US where nuclear warheads can by completed and/or dismantled.
Other defence industry units are sub-contractors to the D5 missile production. For instance: The rocket motor is manufactured by a joint venture between Alliant Techsystem and Thiokol Corporation.
Lockheed Martin’s role is still far more significant than simply producing essential components to a nuclear weapon. The company has namely also developed and contructed the whole underlying structure making a nuclear warhead the terrifying military instrument it is.
Lockheed Martin also plays a part in the production and assembly of the actual nuclear warheads. Not in the US, that is, but in Britain: Lockheed Martin owns one third of the shares in UK company AWE Management Ltd.. Through this company, Lockhhed Martin – and thus the Norwegian Oil Fund – are parisipants to the production and assembly of nuclear warhead in Great Britain. The British equip all their four nuclear driven Vanguard submarines with Trident II D5 missiles.

Three step missile
D5 is a 13,4 metre long three step missile. It weighs 58,5 tons an has a 4000 nautical mile reach. The nuclear warheads are of the type MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles). That means each D5 missile may be equipped with several warheads, all programmable for different targets.
The US Navy has placed eight nuclear warheads in each operative missile. According to Robert Green, a former commandour of the Royal Navy, every Trident II D5 missile carry nuclear explosives equal eigth times the Hiroshima bomb.
The D5 missiles are in turn placed on board Ohio class submarines, which each is able to carry 24 missiles. That means every Ohio submarine is filled with 192 (24 x 8) nuclear warheads, and carry explosives 192 times more powerfull than the Hiroshima bomb.

Lengthy cooperation
D5 is currently the last generation missiles constructed for launch from submarines. The cooperation with Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space started in the mid 1950’s, when the US Navy started its Fleet Ballistic Missiles (FBM) development program.
Trident II (D5) is sixth generation FBM missile, following Polaris (A1), Polaris (A2), Poalris (A3), Poseidon (C3) and Trident I (C4).
The serial production of the D5 started in 1987, and the first missile was operative in 1990. Both Trident missiles are currently in use, but the US Navy is now up-grading the nuclear weapons in four Ohio submarine, installing the more effective and accurate Trident II D5. Today, the US have half of the nations strategic nuclear defence placed on D5 and C4 missiles.

432 nuclear missiles
The most current US Defence Department annual report shows that the USA in 2001 had 432 operative Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM). All were Trident I C4s and Trident II D5s. This figure does not include missiles that are being maintained.
According to the annual report, The US Navy has 18 Ohio submarines. Eight of them are equipped with 24 C4 missiles, the other ten have installed the same number of D5 missiles.
As late as January 2002, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space received an order for twelve new D5 missiles. The US Navy have thus taken in 396 Trident II D5 missiles since production started.

British warheads
As part of a cooperation agreement with the US, the British marine has started to incorporate the D2 into its defence. The missiles are deliverd by Lockheed Martin, but the warheads in the UK-controlled missiles are being manufactured and assembled by the UK company AWE (The Atomic Weapon Establishment), where also Lockheed Martine is involved on the operational side.

AWE is the only company that produces nuclear warheads in ther UK. In addition to conducting research and carrying out testing on the area in question, AWE is responsible for production, maintenance and eventual re-cycling of the nations nuclear weapons.

Since the early 90’s AWE has had status as so-called GOCO-company (Government Owned, Contractor Operated). AWE is thus a government owned company, run by privat actors with interests in the eventual financial profit. Placing the company on private hands has been highly controversial. Especially the safty aspects have been focused upon.

AWE is administered by AWE Management Ltd., which is a unit consisting of three equal ownership partners; British Nuclear Fuels Plc (BNFL), Serco and Lockheed Martin. Through its involvement in AWE, Lockheed Martin also becoms a party to the actual production and assembly of nuclear warheads for the UK Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles (UK FBM).

Facts: Lockheed Martin
The Norwegian Patroleum Fund has invested 131 204 089 Norwegian kroner (NOK) in Lockheed Marin Corp.. That is equal to 0,071 percent of the company shares. Lockheed Martin (LM) is the world’s largest arms company. It has some 120 000 employees and a 24 billion US dollar turnover. The consortium has won a giant contract for development of the next generation US jet planes, Joint Strike Fighters (JSF). The sub-unit Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Missiles & Space Operations produces one of the worlds most advanced nuclear missiles, the Trident II D5, which each can be equipped with eight individually independent nuclear warheads. LM delivers the missiles excluded the warheads. These are assembled at Pantex Plant in Texas.

Half of the American stratergic nuclear arsenal is with the LM produced missiles Trident I C4 and Trident II D5. The missiles are installed on 18 nuclear driven Ohio-submarines, each capable of carrying 24 missiles. Trident II D5 may either be equipped with the 100 kilotons explosive power W76 warheads, or the 475 kilotons explosive power W88 warheads. Those are representatively 8 and 40 times more powerfull than the Hiroshima bomb (supposed 12 kilotons).

Lockheed Martin is also involved in the operation of UK company Atomic Weapon Establishment (AWE), which manufactures and assembles nuclear warheads for Britain. AWE Management Ltd. is run by three equal ownership partners, British Nuclear Fuels Plc, Serco and Lockheed Martin.

Norwatch Newsletter 7-8/02