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On January 20, 2022, officials at the Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) hosted a virtual celebration along with partners from across the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and U.S. Air Force to recognize the completion of the B61-12 Life Extension Program’s First Production Unit (FPU).
The B61-12 Life Extension Program was put into action over nine years ago to extend service life by at least 20 years, and improve the bomb’s safety, security and reliability. This program is vital to sustaining the credibility of America’s air-delivered nuclear deterrent capability and to ensuring our continued ability to deter threats to our Nation and our allies.
“It is with great pride and excitement that we see the B61-12 achieve FPU,” said Eric Wollerman, President of Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies which manages and operates the KCNSC. “Our skilled workforce came together during an unprecedented pandemic to deliver critical components in a safe and secure manner. I’m continuously impressed with their dedication to the national security mission.”
This program required significant coordination across the NNSA, including KCNSC, Pantex, Y-12 National Security Complex, Savannah River Site, Sandia National Labs and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The B61 nuclear gravity bomb, deployed from U.S. Air Force and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bases, has been in service for over 50 years. Many modifications have been made to improve the B61’s safety, security, and reliability since the first B61 entered service in 1968.
With the FPU being accepted in November 2021, NNSA is on track to complete this life extension program in 2026.