At the November Nuclear Deterrence All Hands meeting, Deputy Labs Director Laura McGill, Associate Labs Director Rita Gonzales and Director Michelle Stevens highlighted accomplishments and discussed current initiatives and priorities.
Laura said the nuclear deterrence mission continues to be the foundation for U.S. national defense strategy, as shown recently in the Nuclear Posture Review and the Military Defense Strategy, and that Sandia’s science and technology focus is foundational to success at the Labs.
“We can’t ever forget that science and technology are the basis of everything we do,” she said. “It underpins our ability to bring new capability and new performance to our systems. We find discoveries and capabilities in ways we never anticipated. It helps the nuclear deterrence mission, and it helps all of Sandia.”
Rita and Michelle shared successes from fiscal year 2022, including a last production unit, program milestones, flight tests and more. Some highlights include:
- After 16 years of work, the last production unit for the W76-1 Launch Accelerometer was completed.
- The annual stockpile assessment letter was issued on Sept. 27.
- The Primary Standards Lab qualified a new ultra-high vacuum system that will benefit the nuclear security enterprise by assuring more accurate measurements and simultaneous vacuum gauge calibrations.
- The W80-4 program completed a successful baseline design review and its first integrated powered missile flight test.
- The W93 program successfully moved into Phase 2, which will focus on down selecting options for the system.
- A Minuteman III missile carried the Mk21/W87-0 Flight Test Unit 3 on a recent test that will support qualification of the Mk21 Fuze.
- Collaboration with the Kansas City National Security Campus led to an increase in producibility for W80-4 components, with producibility for 90% of components now rated acceptable or better, compared with 72% in November 2021.
- Sandia produced 50,300 parts spanning 52 components during fiscal year 2022 despite COVID-related supply chain issues, a 26% increase over fiscal year 2021 and the highest volume in Sandia’s history, Michelle said.
- Nonnuclear component production for the B61-12 and W88 ALT 370 is underway, with some components for the W88 already completed and ready for assembly.
For more details, milestones and news about aspects of the nuclear deterrence program, watch the recording of the All Hands in the Digital Media Library.