Lockheed Martin has received a contract from Northrop Grumman to develop re-entry field support equipment (RFSE) for the US Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.

Under the $106m contract, Lockheed will design, develop, test and deliver two sets of RFSE over a period of 58 months.

The company will also produce an additional ten RFSE sets for deployment to all operational Air Force Minuteman III wings under a follow-on contract.

The RFSE will replace the aging Minuteman III re-entry system test set (RSTS) and support test and maintenance of all Minuteman III RSTS, including mk12A and mk21 configurations.

The RFSE, along with safety enhanced re-entry vehicle (SERV) support equipment, will provide a full suite of new support equipment for the air force’s Minuteman III re-entry systems.

The SERV programme will enable each Minuteman III missile to carry one, two or three mk12A re-entry vehicles or a single mk21 re-entry vehicle.