Naval Base Kitsap is one of the homes for the USA’s fleet of Trident nuclear missile submarines; the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific stores both propellant and nuclear warheads. One report claims that this location has the highest concentration of nuclear warheads in the USA with more than 2,300 warheads, about half of which are sailing aboard America’s Pacific fleet of ballistic-missile submarines at any given time.
A set of contracts begun in 2008 aim to make improvements to this facility. They aren’t cheap, but one can argue that they’re worth it…
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co’s Space and Strategic Missiles division in Sunnyvale, CA received $654.9 million for Modification PZ0001 under a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee/ cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00030-06-C-0100) to provide for UGM-133 Trident II (D5) and UGM-96A Trident I (C4) nuclear sea-launched ballistic missiles. The Trident C-4 has been in service since 1979, but the D-5 Trident II is more recent. First deployed in 1990 and scheduled for operational deployment until 2042, 12 of the USA’s 14 SSBNs have been outfitted with Trident II D-5 missiles, and the other 2 will be backfitted as opportunity permits.
Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Irvine, Torrance and Santa Ana, CA (33.42%); St. Mary’s, GA (15.76%); Brigham City, UT (15.76%); Cape Canaveral, FL (11.89%); Silverdale and Nepoulsbo, WA (10.5%); Gainsville, VA (2.34%); Kingsport, TN (1.65%); and miscellaneous sites throughout the U.S. (9.3%). Contract funds in the amount of $247.6 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, and work is expected to be complete by September 2010. US Strategic Systems Programs in Arlington, VA issued the contract.
SSBN-730 Class, tubes open
A Lockheed Martin release explains that work under the contract will include D5 production support, including reentry system hardware, and operations and maintenance to support the readiness and reliability of missile systems aboard SSBN-730 Ohio/Henry M. Jackson Class submarines and at on-shore facilities. Tory Bruno, vice president of Strategic Missile Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, was quoted as saying that “Our work in the coming years will span research and development, design, production, testing, operations and maintenance on this important Navy program.”
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, MA received a $195.75 million contract for tactical engineering support re: the Mk 6 guidance system used on American and British Trident II D-5 nuclear missiles. DID has covered the Mk 6 guidance system and its subcontractors, as well as where it fits within the larger set of modernization and procurement efforts for the Trident missile fleet. Contract funds in the amount of $76.6 million will expire at the end of current fiscal year, and this contract contains options which would bring its cumulative value to $201.9 million if exercised.
Work will include repair and recertification of Mk 6 guidance systems, including pendulous integrating gyroscopic accelerometers, inertial measurement units, electronic assemblies, inertial measurement units electronics, repair parts, test equipment maintenance, and related hardware; deliver a product and process improvement study to investigate approaches to reduce life-cycle cost and improve performance of the Fleet Ballistic Missile Guidance System program; and employ it’s personnel and facilities in the conduct of various important technical studies including the Guidance Application Program and the Radiation Hardened Application Program. It will be performed in Cambridge, MA (64%); Pittsfield, MA (23%); Andover, MA (5%); El Segundo, CA (3%); Clearwater, FL (3%); and Woodland Hills, CA (2%), and is expected to be complete September 2007. This contract was not competitively procured by the Strategic Systems Program in Arlington, VA (N00030-07-C-0001).
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems in Clearfield, UT received a $225.2 million cost-plus-fixed fee, cost-plus-incentive fee contract modification to remanufacture Stage 1, 2, and 3 rockets motors and offer product quality assurance test support. The contractor shall provide 75 complete booster components sets (one each Stage 1, 2 and 3 motors and an ordnance kit) and 2 product quality assurance test motors. A similar contract was issued in January 2006.
This contract action by the Headquarters 526th ICBM Systems Wing at Hill Air Force Base, UT exercises the Propulsion Replacement Program Full Rate Production year 6 options. Which means the engines are destined for LGM-30G Minuteman III nuclear ICBMs. At this time, $220.9 million has been obligated, and work will be complete January 2009 (F42610-98-C-0001/will advise modification number).
Phase II involves detailed design test and manufacturing reviews of motor hardware to be fabricated. The reviews shall include detailed drawings, analysis, and any data generated to support the design of hardware to be test fired. The contractor will fabricate motor and test hardware and conduct any checkout testing identified in the preliminary Phase II test and instrumentation plan and coordinate test requirements with the Air Force. This action exercises the Phase II Option of the contract and implements a period of performance form 1 June 2006 through 31 May 2010.
ATK Thiokol Propulsion in Corinne, UT received $17.6 million (FA8204-06-C-0013/P00001)
Aerojet General Corp. in Sacramento, CA, received $17.5 million (FA8204-06-C-0014/P00001)
India relies on a number of delivery platforms for its nuclear deterrent, from combat aircraft to its Prithvi (150-300 km/ up to 180 miles) Agni I (700-800 km/ up to 500 miles) and rail-mountable Agni II (2,000+ km/ 1,200+ miles) ballistic missiles. Their location and range ensure that their coverage is largely restricted to Pakistan, but the two-stage Agni III missile was expected to change that with a range of over 3,000 miles. While this is not the ICBM it is sometimes made out to be unless its range is very substantially beyond that 3,000 mile figure, The Agni III would certainly be a capable MRBM(medium range ballistic missile)/ IRBM(intermediate range ballistic missile) capable of reaching many parts of China.
Yet India has put an indefinite hold on the maiden flight-test of the Agni III, despite assurances from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists that the missile is ready. Our fast round-up of background information and perspectives includes:
Carried on SSBN-726 Ohio Class submarines, The Trident II D-5 is the US Navy’s submarine launched nuclear missile, with exceptional range for a sea-launched weapon and accuracy figures that rival or even exceed land-based ICBMs. These missiles are arguably the most important and effective component of the US nuclear deterrent, and they constitute Britain’s entire nuclear deterrent as well. They were first deployed in 1990, and are planned for continuous deployment to 2042. DID has covered the ongoing modernization and refurbishment efforts that will be required in order to meet this goal.
As part of those efforts, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Co. in Sunnyvale, CA just received a $61.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. They’ll investigate, demonstrate, and validate emerging technologies suitable for the unique current and future requirements of fleet ballistic missile (FBM) boost motors, post boost control systems (PBCS), thrust vector controls (TVC), and ordnance and flight termination systems. This effort shall identify and maintain the critical skills and tools necessary to address development needs, and improve the current predictive aging models/techniques used to assess their viability when deployed beyond their original design life. Lockheed will also investigate what would be required to produce alternatives to some of the existing 1980s-era components, and integrate them into the Trident fleet.
Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, CA and is expected to be complete by December 2008. This contract was not competitively procured by the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00030-06-C-0030).
DID actually began covering the SERV program over a year ago. It’s all part of a $135 million dollar, six-year contract that will transition the USA’s Minuteman III nuclear missile fleet from 3-warhead MIRVs to single Mk 21 reentry vehicles, recently decommissioned from the MX Peacekeeper missile force.
The entire force of 500 Minuteman III missiles is slated for SERV upgrades by 2011; this is just one of eight large modification programs Northrop Grumman currently manages in support of U.S. Air Force efforts to sustain the country’s ICBM arsenal. Lockheed Martin and Boeing are Northrop-Grumman’s principal teammates on this particular program.
Aerojet-General Corp. in Sacramento, CA received an $11.4 million cost-plus fixed-fee contract modification to evaluate, develop, and demonstrate “innovative post boost propulsion concepts.” It exercises option 1 of the Phase II baseline program for research and development to and component technologies to support the Minuteman III nuclear missiles. The scheduled completion date is June 2008. The Headquarters 526th ICBM Systems Wing at Hill Air Force Base, UT issued the cotract (FA8402-05-C-0036-P00002).