National Nuclear Security Administration

Major milestone achieved for B61-12 Life Extension Program

January 18, 2019

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Employees at Y-12 National Security Complex gather to celebrate completion of the first production unit of the B61-12
Employees at Y-12 National Security Complex gather to celebrate completion of the first production unit of the B61-12

The first production unit of the B61-12 Life Extension Program (LEP) canned subassembly, or secondary, was certified at the Y-12 National Security Complex on Dec. 6  – four months ahead of schedule.

The B61-12 LEP will extend the life of the strategic weapons system for 20 years, bolstering our Nation’s nuclear deterrent. Completing the development, qualification, and production of the first secondary ahead of schedule required an incredible combined effort from numerous dedicated team members across the NNSA nuclear security enterprise.

“This milestone is critical to the modernization of the nuclear weapons stockpile and ensures the safety, security and reliability of our Nation’s nuclear deterrent,” said NNSA Production Office Manager Geoff Beausoleil.

The next milestone for the program is the shipment of eight nuclear pilot production canned subassembly units to the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, by March 2019. This recently certified unit is one of those eight. The first complete B61-12 weapon is scheduled for production by March 2020.