The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Monday that Lockheed Martin Corp. has been awarded a substantial $996 million contract for the Mark21A Reentry Vehicle (Mk21A) program.
This contract underscores Lockheed Martin’s pivotal role in advancing the nation’s defense capabilities.
The primary objective of this contract is to facilitate the engineering, manufacturing, and design processes necessary to create a low technical risk and cost-effective Reentry Vehicle (RV) for the Sentinel program, as confirmed by the U.S. Department of Defense contract announcements.
The Mk21A reentry vehicle is set to be a critical component of the future LGM-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system. Both the Mk21A and the LGM-35 Sentinel are being developed under the auspices of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.
The Mk21A will hold an improved W87-1 warhead, as opposed to the W87 thermonuclear warhead carried by its predecessors, the Mk21.
The LGM-35 Sentinel, also known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), represents a cutting-edge land-based ICBM system that is currently in the early stages of development. This system will play a significant role in strengthening the United States’ national defense capabilities.
The extensive work required for this contract will be carried out in various locations, with a focal point in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The anticipated completion date for this contract is set for October 20, 2039, signifying the long-term commitment and investment in advancing national security.
It is worth noting that this contract is a sole source acquisition, underscoring Lockheed Martin’s specialized expertise in this domain. The funding for this endeavor is allocated from fiscal year 2024 research, development, test, and evaluation funds, with an initial obligation of $26 million at the time of award.
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity overseeing this significant contract. This development underscores the ongoing commitment to advancing the nation’s defense capabilities and maintaining a strong defense infrastructure to address evolving threats and challenges.