The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have successfully completed a planned flight test of the unarmed, developmental Mk21A reentry vehicle in the Pacific Ocean on June 17, according to a press release.

The Mk21A is an integrated reentry vehicle critical to the U.S. Air Force’s future intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) weapon system.

This flight test, conducted from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, evaluated Lockheed Martin’s vehicle design components and technologies. It demonstrated the maturity of the Mk21A’s design, say the firm.

“This progress is built on a strong foundation—Lockheed Martin’s 65-plus years of demonstrated exceptional performance in reentry technologies and a pioneering digital engineering approach on this program from its beginning,” said Jay Watson, vice president of Strategic Reentry at Lockheed Martin.

“We remain focused on delivering this capability for the warfighter as a trusted partner to the U.S. Air Force for ICBM reentry systems and modernization of the deterrent triad.”

The flight test is part of Lockheed Martin’s Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract with the Air Force Nuclear Systems Center. Data collected during the test will inform the Mk21A’s design and guide future flight test activities.

The Mk21A programme is currently on schedule.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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FormerUSAF (@guest_828024)
1 month ago

LGM-35 Sentinel ICBM, equipped w/ W87 mod 1 warheads, is currently slated to reach IOC in 2030.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_828060)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I wondered if the UK’s Tridents’ will get the same warhead?

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Robert Gay
Robert Gay (@guest_828131)
29 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Not sure. The trident is different in its launch configuration.

The U.S minuteman three is silo based of course and longer range. So the warhead is different in many ways .

Of course, if there was arms control the public will be saved a lot of money and possibly not be annihilated in the process.

Just a thought 🤔.

Itachi (@guest_828244)
29 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

No brother, the United States is going to update the Trident warhead with the new w93/mk7, on the other hand, the United Kingdom is creating the A21/Mk7 or Astraea

Ian (@guest_829400)
25 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

No, because that would violate the NPT. It may end up being a suspiciously similar design though.

Jonathan (@guest_828078)
1 month ago

Is it just me or is the perspective really odd on that graphic..instead of looking like a cone shaped warhead..the picture looks like a really long rod.

Ian (@guest_829401)
25 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Reminds me of the ‘rods from God’ concept where tungsten rods are hurled at ground targets from orbit (so hitting the ground at about Mach 20).