Vandenberg Space Force Base Tests New Mk21A Reentry Vehicle

Vandenberg Space Force Base Tests New Mk21A Reentry Vehicle

Vandenberg Space Force Base conducted a successful test launch of Lockheed Martin's new Mk21A reentry vehicle. The vehicle, designed for the United States' next generation of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems, was launched using a Minotaur I rocket at 11:01 p.m. The test, announced on Facebook just before liftoff, was part of an in-flight environmental evaluation.

The Mk21A reentry vehicle is under a $996 million contract awarded to Lockheed Martin by the Department of Defense in October 2023. The vehicle is being developed to deploy a thermonuclear warhead and will be integrated into the nation's ICBM weapon system upon completion. The project is overseen by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and is expected to be completed by October 2039. Data from this test will be used for ongoing development and future testing phases.

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