Lockheed Martin Receives $108M U.S. Air Force Contract for Mk21A Reentry Vehicle Program

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $108 million contract by the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) for the Mk21A Reentry Vehicle (RV) program.

This contract is to conduct Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) to provide a low technical risk and affordable RV capable of delivering the W87-1 thermonuclear missile warhead from the U.S. Air Force’s future intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Weapon System (WS).

As per the contract, Lockheed Martin will develop a complete preliminary design, develop and demonstrate prototype RVs, create plans necessary for a Milestone B (MS B) decision to enter the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase and work with the W87-1 and GBSD programs to ensure proper integration. TMRR activities will include risk reduction efforts, prototype flight testing, and RV integration with the GBSD WS and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) warhead.

Reentry vehicle components include a high-velocity nosetip, high-impact transducer, fuze, aeroshell forward section, body section and rear cover, radio frequency subsystem with antennas, spin-up system, in-flight disconnect cable and other electrical cables.

The contract work will be performed at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and other various locations as needed, and is expected to be completed by October 2022.

Minuteman III ICBM missile reentry vehicle
Artistic rendering of an LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM missile reentry vehicle coming through the atmosphere about to make a splash in the ocean. Minuteman III is the operational ICBM of the U.S. Air Force and is scheduled to be replaced by the new GBSD Weapon System. Graphic by USAF Tech. Sgt. Mark A. Schurman.

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