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Flight Test of Weapons System Body by Navy Successful

Third Flight Demonstrated Dynamics and Functional Performance in Flight Environment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the Follow-On Commander Evaluation Test-51 (FCET-51) flight body was successfully flown by the Navy recently.

This test was one of several in a sequence of flight tests for the qualification efforts of the W88-0/Mk5 ALT 370 Program to demonstrate the functional performance of the weapon system in flight environments.

“As the third flight test in the W88 ALT 370 program, FCET-51 was instrumental in demonstrating flight dynamics,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook. “The W88 ALT 370 is an important element in the NNSA effort to maintain a safe, secure, and effective stockpile without resort to underground nuclear explosive testing.”

The FCET-51 reentry body was designed to measure vibration and shock environments in flight. The next-generation telemetry capability was designed by Sandia National Laboratories’ Weapons Systems Engineering Department. This capability transmitted data to ground- and sea-based receiving stations. The data will be used to evaluate the effects of flight environments on the reentry body and validate the engineering design of critical components.

Flight test operations are conducted and managed under the direction of Navy Strategic Systems Programs. Sandia National Laboratories’ Reentry Systems Development Group is advancing the development of the W88-0/Mk5 ALT 370 for the Navy and the NNSA.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. NNSA homepage:

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