Minuteman III Solid Rocket Motor Warm Line Program (SRMWL)
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (UT) requests $7,500,000 for:
ATK Space Systems
8400 West 5000 S P O Box 98
In the SRMWL program, a delivered unit is a motor set, consisting of a Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 motor. While the optimum low rate of production is twelve delivered units per year (one per month, like the D5 program), critical skills and processes may be maintained with a production rate of six delivered units per year. However, any less than a six-rate drives additional scope and risk into propellant casting intervals.
o For example, technicians are currently required to have hands-on experience with the program at least once every 60 days. With a six-rate - one motor set every other month - technicians are able to keep up their qualification status. However, once the production rate falls below an every-other-month status, many technicians must be re-qualified between each production run.
o The Administration's FY2011 request includes $44.240 M for three delivered SRMWL units. For a modest investment of an additional $7.5 million in FY2011, the industrial base could be effectively sustained by doubling the number of delivered units, from three to six delivered units.
o The minimum accepted standard in intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) aging and surveillance methodology is seven years of motor aging, then seven years of data collection. After 14 years, enough data has been collected to be statistically significant. Using this standard, in 2015 enough data will exist to begin to make assessments regarding life limiting factors and force-wide trends for the first MM III replacement motors produced in 2000.
o The Administration's FY2011 budget request shows that the Air Force currently plans for the SRMWL program to end in FY2012, at least three years short of the time needed to determine life-limiting factors and force-wide trends. In order to be able to accurately determine the expected life of our nation's only deployed, land-based strategic assets, we need to sustain the industrial base at least into 2015, when sufficient statistically-significant data will exist.