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USAF awards another Mk21A contract modification

5th August 2021 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A USAF maintenance airman removes the screws holding the nose point of a Minuteman III ICBM to the rest of the re-entry system inside a payload transporter. (Photo: USAF Nuclear Weapons Center)

​Lockheed Martin is to assist the much-needed US ICBM fuze modernisation programme, as the existing Mk21 fuze is already three times past its design life.

Lockheed Martin has obtained a $51.22 million contract modification from the USAF Nuclear Weapon Center to provide engineering services for arming and fuzing subsystem on the Mk21A Reentry Vehicle (RV).

Work will be performed at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be completed by 31 October 2023.

The total cumulative face value of the contract is $255.31 million, the DoD noted on 4 August.

Budget documents from the USAF note that the ‘legacy Mk21 fuze is three times past its design life’ and it cannot meet requirements for the US nuclear weapons stockpile. 

The USAF has requested $129.7 million for ICBM fuze modernisation in FY2022.

Lockheed Martin is already working on a technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) R&D contract for the RV, with a scheduled completion date of 21 October 2022.

The aim of the TMRR effort is to add the capability for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent system to deliver the W87-1 warhead.

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