The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $108 million contract for the Mk21A reentry vehicle -- a platform that's intended to deliver the W87-1 warhead from the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent system.
The contract provides for technology-maturation and risk-reduction work, which the service expects to be completed by October 2022, according to a contract notice posted yesterday on the Defense Department website.
At the time of the award, the Air Force obligated $8 million in fiscal year 2019 research and development funds. Lockheed will perform the contract work in King of Prussia, PA.
GBSD is the service's replacement to the legacy Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system and is expected to begin deployment in the late 2020s.
The W87-1 -- which the National Nuclear Security Agency is developing -- is intended to provide enhanced safety and security compared to the W78 warhead that’s integrated with Minuteman III.