Department of Energy

DOE AND NNSA Celebrate W76-1 Life Extension Program

January 23, 2019

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Two decades of enterprise-wide collaboration leads to successfully extending the life of the W76 warhead for the U.S. Navy under budget and ahead of schedule

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) celebrated the completion of the Program of Record for the W76-1 Life Extension Program (LEP) today at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.

The W76-1 is a refurbished W76-0 warhead, which is a submarine-launched ballistic missile system first introduced into the stockpile for the U.S. Navy in 1978.  This LEP has strengthened the safety and security of the United States by extending the warhead’s service life from 20 years to 60 years.

“A great deal of teamwork and dedication went into this incredible achievement. People all across our country did their part to make the delivery of this refurbished warhead possible and they did it ahead of schedule and under budget,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

The LEP has been underway since October 1998 and every one of the Nuclear Security Enterprise’s labs, plants, and sites contributed to this major modernization program.

“The success we’ve achieved on the W76-1 is a testament to our ability across the Nuclear Security Enterprise to deliver on commitments to the Department of Defense, Congress, and the American people,” said Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon- Hagerty.  “With this proven path forward, we will continue to make progress on our other modernization programs, including the B61-12, W80-4 and the W88 Alteration 370.”

In addition to Secretary Perry and Administrator Gordon-Hagerty, Department of Defense, state, and local dignitaries and representatives from across the Nuclear Security Enterprise attended the commemoration at the Pantex Plant.