National Nuclear Security Administration

DOD/DOE NNSA Joint Munitions Program: 30 years of collaborative innovation

April 26, 2016

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As part of NNSA’s commitment to protecting and preserving the nation’s nuclear deterrent, NNSA collaborates with the Department of Defense (DOD) in the Joint Munitions Program (JMP). This year marks more than 30 years of partnership through the JMP to improve and invest in innovative technology in pursuit of mutual long-term national security objectives.

A memorandum of understanding signed in 1985 by DOD and DOE provides the basis for the JMP—a cooperative, applied research and development program in munitions-related technology. The JMP aims to solve emerging problems and create advanced technologies of interest to both DOE and DOD under a jointly funded program.  

While most of the research is performed at NNSA’s national laboratories—Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia—all experimental endeavors are planned, monitored, and executed by laboratory representatives from both departments. Mutual collaboration improves the effectiveness, stability, affordability, and efficiency of munitions for the armed services, while at the same time benefiting NNSA’s research objectives.

As national laboratory scientists pair their understanding of physics related to weapons components with access to DOD experimental data, they enhance NNSA’s modeling and simulation capabilities for verifying the nation’s nuclear stockpile. The JMP work also aids NNSA lab recruitment efforts by offering numerous opportunities for technical staff through collaborative professional development.

The JMP supports the President’s commitment to work toward a world without nuclear weapons by supporting the increased role of conventional weapons to deter and respond to non-nuclear attack, as described in the Nuclear Posture Review report.

Projects in the JMP are organized in five focus areas: Initiation, Fuzing, and Sensors; Energetic Materials; Computational Mechanics and Material Modeling; Warhead & Penetration Technology; and Munitions Lifecycle Technologies. Learn more about the JMP on NNSA’s website and from the Department of Defense.