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Johns Hopkins receives nuclear weapons research contract

The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory has received a $93 million contract to continue its engineering and research work with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.

By
Stephen Carlson
A Minuteman III ICBM test launch at Vandenberg AFB. U.S. Air Force photo
A Minuteman III ICBM test launch at Vandenberg AFB. U.S. Air Force photo

July 18 (UPI) -- The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has received a $93 million contract to continue its engineering and research work with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, the Department of Defense announced Monday.

The work will go toward specialized engineering, research and development requirements for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Services include planning, strategic analysis, studies of air-delivered and ground-based nuclear weapons capabilities, and command-and-control communications.

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The program will be performed in Laurel, Md., and is expected to be completed by June 10, 2024. Air Force 2017 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $1 million are being allocated for the contract.

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory is a 280-acre defense and space research facility and is the nation's largest University Affiliated Research Center.

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Laboratory is dedicated to 12 different areas of study, including air and missile defense, weapons guidance systems, cyber operations, and civil and military space programs. Johns Hopkins APL was founded in 1942 to aid wartime research and development.

The lab does extensive work for the Department of Defense and other sponsors, and technology developed at the center is transferred for defense, contractor, and commercial civilian use.

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The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center out of Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., is responsible for all nuclear weapons and material within the Air Force. It has over 1,900 personnel at sites worldwide to support the Air Forces nuclear weapons material and systems.

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It is split into four divisions that manage air-delivered warheads, ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, associated command-and-control and nuclear technology.

The U.S. Air Force has operational control of the the U.S. ground-based nuclear ballistic missiles and air-delivered bombs and missiles, including the Minuteman III ICBMs that form the backbone of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

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