Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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Strategic Partnerships

LLNL is proud to provide enduring partnerships with the Department of Defense. Our Strategic Partnerships activity fosters and enables the application of LLNL’s advanced scientific, engineering, and computational capabilities for DoD mission needs. Key partners include, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Navy, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the Missile Defense Agency.

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Military Education and Outreach

LLNL recognizes the importance of education and supporting current and future military leaders as they advance throughout their careers. This includes understanding trends in science and technology as it applies to our national security missions, focused programs on conventional and nuclear weapons and weapons effects, intelligence programs, and strategic deterrence.

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Systems Analysis

The Laboratory has played an important role for the Department of Defense (DOD) by providing detailed quantitative technical analyses that outline how weapon systems can be best applied as part of the U.S. strategic deterrent. Starting with D Division in the Military Applications Directorate in the ‘70s and ‘80s, LLNL has developed and maintained expertise in applications and effectiveness of weapon systems, weapon effects, and conflict modeling and simulation.

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Deterrence Modeling

Deterrence modeling began soon after the first use of nuclear weapons led to the end of World War II. During the Cold War, nuclear deterrence as a concept became a subject of study, particularly with regards to understanding strategic stability – first strike, crisis, arms racing, etc. This work led to formulation of deterrence frameworks including the technical components of the U.S. nuclear triad of bomber-delivered cruise missiles and bombs, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Each leg of the triad served a special role for maintaining stable deterrence. Concepts such as mutual vulnerability, along with arms control treaties, ensured that the balance of nuclear forces between the U.S. and the Soviet Union were roughly matched, again, supporting a stable deterrent.

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Missile Defense

LLNL has a long history working with the DoD on advance missile defenses. Starting with the development of nuclear warheads for the first coastal defense missiles deployed by the U.S. soon after World War II, through the Strategic Defense Initiative program in the 1980’s, through to today’s support to MDA, LLNL has provided scientific and engineering expertise on missile defense concepts, modeling and simulation of system effectiveness, and novel concepts, including advanced conventional warhead and kinetic kill vehicle concepts.

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Weapon Effects

LLNL supports the DoD by providing state-of-the-art conventional and nuclear weapon effects modeling and simulation. LLNL’s strength in high-performance computing has enabled sophisticated modeling capability to allow military planners to optimize applications of weapons on targets to achieve desired effects. Recent work includes high-fidelity modeling of blast, thermal, prompt radiation, and electromagnetic pulse effects. Conventional weapon effects modeling includes assessments of novel warhead systems that provide low-collateral damage, while maximizing lethality. LLNL’s weapon effects capabilities are based in the Weapons and Complex Integration (WCI) Principal Associate Directorate. Close collaboration between ODC and weapon effects subject matter experts allows insertion of advance effects into systems analysis models for assessing military effectiveness of current and proposed weapon systems.