Lockheed Martin announced that it has received a $106 M engineering, manufacturing and development contract from Northrop Grumman Corp. to develop the next-generation Reentry Field Support Equipment (RFSE) for the US Air Force’s Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system.
Under the 58-month contract awarded in July, Lockheed Martin will design, develop, test and deliver two sets of RFSE. Production of an additional 10 RFSE sets for deployment to all operational Air Force Minuteman III wings will be performed under a follow-on contract. The RFSE will replace the aging Minuteman III Reentry System Test Set (RSTS). Lockheed Martin will continue to sustain the RSTS, for which it is the original equipment manufacturer, until deployment of the replacement RFSE.
“This contract represents an important modernization effort for the Air Force’s Minuteman III reentry systems,” said Les Lyon, Director of Air Force Reentry Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. “Lockheed Martin is committed to providing the Air Force with the highest quality hardware and systems engineering in support of the operational ICBM force.”
The RFSE, which represents a substantial enhancement to the Minuteman III sustainment effort, will be used to support testing and maintenance of all Minuteman III reentry systems – both the Mk12A and Mk21 configurations.
The RFSE in conjunction with the recently deployed Safety Enhanced Reentry Vehicle (SERV) support equipment will provide a full suite of new support equipment for the Air Force’s Minuteman III reentry systems. Lockheed Martin completed deliveries of all SERV ground support equipment in April and is continuing to deliver SERV flight hardware. The SERV program enables each Minuteman III missile to carry one, two or three Mk12A reentry vehicles or a single Mk21 reentry vehicle from the decommissioned Peacekeeper ICBM force, ensuring continued reliability and effectiveness.
Lockheed Martin is a principal teammate to Northrop Grumman, the ICBM prime integration contractor for the US Air Force. Lockheed Martin has been the principal designer, manufacturer and sustainer of the Minuteman reentry systems since the 1960s.