Test of Mk21A RV complete after launch aboard Minotaur rocket

  • Published
  • By Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center Public Affairs
  • Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center

An unarmed Mk21A reentry vehicle was tested June 17 after being launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base aboard a Minotaur I rocket. The launch was an in-flight environmental test supporting the development of the Air Force's new Mk21A RV.
The Mk21A RV is currently under contract with Lockheed Martin for its engineering and manufacturing development phase. After attaining full operational capability, the Mk21A RV will be integrated on the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The Mk21A program is in early development overseen by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.
The Mk21A RV test unit was launched aboard a Minotaur I rocket provided by Northrop Grumman and monitored by the U.S. Space Force’s Rocket Systems Launch Program. Minotaur rockets are test units used to demonstrate design concepts and relevant payload technologies in operationally realistic environments.
“The Mk21A RV is crucial to addressing the rapidly changing global threat picture,” said Brig. Gen William Rogers, Air Force program executive officer for ICBMs. “Its continued development and deployment will ensure a safe, secure and effective deterrent force for the foreseeable future.”
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is the lead for the Department of the Air Force’s Mk21A RV acquisition effort. AFNWC is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of the Department of the Air Force. Headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, the center has more than 2,000 military and civilian personnel assigned to 20 locations worldwide.

For questions regarding the launch or Vandenberg Space Force Base range operations, contact Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs at 805-606-3595 or D30.PA.Workflow@us.af.mil.
For queries regarding the Mk21A or its test mission, contact AFNWC Public Affairs at 505-553-3558 or afnwc.public.affairs@us.af.mil.