WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has completed the First Production Unit (FPU) of the W80-1 Alteration (Alt) 369. This accomplishment is an important step toward maintaining nuclear capabilities that will help deter attacks on the United States and its allies.
“The dedicated team at Pantex went above and beyond to complete this milestone before fiscal year 2017 came to a close,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, NNSA’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application. “NNSA can now successfully kick off fiscal year 2018 by entering full production for the W80-1 Alt 369. Such modernization efforts are key to maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.”
The W80-1, a warhead carried by the air-launched cruise missile, was first introduced to the stockpile in 1982. An alteration is a change to a component that does not alter the weapon’s operational capability. The Alt 369 replaces Limited Life Components in the warhead.
The W80-1 Alt 369, scheduled to run through December 2020, will remain operational until the transition to the life-extended W80-4, supporting NNSA’s strategy to ensure the American nuclear arsenal continues to be safe, secure, and effective.
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC performed FPU assembly operations at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, supported by Sandia National Laboratories-California and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
See the W80-4 Life Extension Program Fact Sheet to learn more about this program.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit nnsa.energy.gov for more information.