Archive: Nuclear


White House Wants $65M For DOE Work On Low-Yield Warhead In 2019

The White House wants $65 million in fiscal 2019 for the Department of Energy’s work on the low-yield ballistic-missile warhead called for in the latest Nuclear Posture Review, a weapon Congress must authorize before the agency can start building it. The Donald Trump administration made the funding request official Friday in proposed amendments to the […]

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

Projected NNSA Budgets Can Handle Low-Yield Warhead, DoE Officials Tell Congress

Energy Secretary Rick Perry and the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) both assured Congress last week that the two new low-yield warheads called for in the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review can fit in projected agency budgets. Perry and NNSA Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty faced the same question Thursday on separate sides of […]

DoE, DoD Officials Won’t Talk Timeline on NNSA

In separate congressional hearings here Tuesday, senior Energy and Defense officials declined to pin down the date at which the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) might start modifying an existing warhead to create the low-yield, submarine-launched weapon sought by the Trump administration. The Pentagon has already requested 2019 funding to start work on upgrades for the […]


W88 Warhead Upgrade Nailed Final Design Review, NNSA Says

A civil-military panel approved designs for an upgrade of the W88 nuclear ballistic missile warhead carried aboard U.S. submarines, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said Jan. 16. Panel members, drawn from within and outside of the Department of Energy agency, approved system-level designs for the W88’s upgraded arming, fuzing, and firing (AF&F) subsystem on […]

Kirstjen Nielsen being sworn  in as the new DHS Secretary on Dec. 6. Photo: DHS.

DHS Unifying Counter WMD Support In Response To Evolving Threats

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday rolled out a new office that consolidates existing organizations that work to protect the U.S. against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats to establish a more holistic and unified approach to combat weapons of mass destruction (WMD). “The United States faces rising danger from terrorist groups and […]

Northrop Grumman's B-2 bomber. Photo: Air Force.

Arsenal Modernization Means More Nukes, Perry Says

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday suggested that modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal includes increasing the number of weapons. In an energy policy discussion hosted by NBC and Axios in Washington, D.C., moderator Chuck Todd of “Meet the Press” asked Perry, “Does beefing up mean the same as modernization?” “It does to me,” […]


NNSA Finishes Mods For Cruise Missile Warhead

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has refurbished the first in a line of nuclear warheads that will be used on an aging fleet of U.S. cruise missiles well into next decade. The semiautonomous Department of Energy nuclear stockpile steward completed the first production unit of the W80-1 Alt 369 “before fiscal year 2017 came […]

Cutaway of W76 warhead and Mk-4 reentry vehicle. Image: Los Alamos National Lab

NNSA Finishes Production Of Critical Non-Nuclear Systems For W76 Warhead

The National Nuclear Security Administration said Monday it has wrapped up production of critical non-nuclear systems required to upgrade the W76 warhead. The Department of Energy’s (DoE) semiautonomous stockpile steward said the milestone involves the W76’s Arming Fuzing Subsystem: a single assembly that includes “the weapon’s radar, programmer, and timer.” The NNSA did not say […]

The Air Force test launches a Minuteman III ICBM in September 2010. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force Taps Lockheed, Rockwell To Design ICBM Control System

The U.S. Air Force has picked Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Rockwell Collins [COL] to begin designing a replacement for the aging Airborne Launch Control System (ALCS), which allows command-and-control aircraft to launch land-based, nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Rockwell Collins have been awarded three-year contracts valued at $80.8 million and $76.3 […]