By Michael Padilla

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sandia supports First Production Unit of W80-1 Alt 369

W80-1 Alt 369 update

Sandia was an integral part of NNSA’s completion of the First Production Unit (FPU) of the W80-1 Alteration 369.

Sandia’s System Engineering team was present during the FPU build to observe the execution of the new procedures, verifying that procedures are correctly performed and meet requirements to yield a quality product. 

“The team was present to resolve any technical issues that might arise during the build,” says Michael Forman, manager for the Sandia program. “In this instance, the timely completion of documentation and resolution of two technical issues by the Systems Engineering team were critical to the early completion of the FPU.”

During the W80-1 Alt 369 FPU build, Jim Berg and Al Ver Berkmoes observed and documented the results of the nuclear explosives operations in engineering evaluation releases (EER) to ensure that the process met requirements. Upon successful completion of the build, the EER and qualification engineering release were signed, completing the FPU build and allowing full production of W80-1 Alt 369 respectively.

Sandia team members critical to the aggressive push to deliver FPU by Sept. 30 included: Jim, Al, and Robert Kinzel from system engineering; Don Bender and Cary Pratt from quality engineering, and Jennifer Hidalgo, Charles Lloyd, Carmen Lucero, and Debbie Stephens from Document Control.

According to NNSA, this accomplishment is an important step toward maintaining nuclear capabilities that will help deter attacks on the United States and its allies.

“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,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, NNSA’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application.

The W80-1, a warhead carried by the air-launched cruise missile, was 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/California, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.