Stage 1 Nozzle Control Unit (NCU) Battery

Minuteman III (MMIII) Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)

Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, AFNWC/NMSP

BACKGROUND:  The Air Force (AF) is evaluating the need to procure new Stage 1 NCU Batteries that are currently used on the MMIII ICBM.  The purpose of this Sources Sought Synopsis (SSS) is to help the AF obtain further information in order to determine a correct path forward for procurement.    

NOTICE: This is not a solicitation but rather a Sources Sought Synopsis.  Neither the release of this sources sought synopsis nor any responses to it guarantee a solicitation will be issued.  Rather, the purpose of this sources sought is to determine potential sources for information and used for planning purposes only.  A determination by the Government to not compete this solicitation is solely within the discretion of the Government.

The first purpose is to conduct market research to determine if responsible sources exist, to assist in determining if this effort can be a full and open competition and/or a total small business set-aside.  The proposed North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code is 325920 which has a size standard of 1,000 employees.  If an alternate NAICS code is recommended, please provide the recommendation in the response.  The AF will use this information to determine the best acquisition strategy for this procurement.  The AF is interested in all businesses to include Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, Hubzone, and Women-Owned small business concerns.  The AF requests that interested parties respond to this notice, if applicable, and identify your business status to the identified NAICS code (see the Section labeled “Responses” for response requirements).  Additionally, please provide any anticipated teaming arrangements.  Any responses involving teaming agreements should delineate between the work that will be accomplished by the prime and the work accomplished by the teaming partners.

The second purpose of this SSS is to obtain information about schedule, cost, and other aspects of this potential procurement.

DESCRIPTION:  The AF is evaluating the need for the procurement of Stage 1 NCU Battery (Stock Number 6135-00-819-8074, Part Number 1990012) used on MMIII ICBM.  The Stage 1 Battery currently is a Silver Zinc Oxide chemistry and provides power to the hydraulics for the Stage 1 NCU for MIII.  The intent of the AF is to procure a thermal battery as opposed to the legacy chemistry of Silver-Zinc Oxide.  The Government’s Technical Data Package will consist of a specification and top-level drawing/Interface Control Drawing.  A draft specification and top level drawings may be available from the AF, upon request. 


  • Must provide evidence of capability to manufacture similar designs to the Stage 1 Battery using “Thermal” as the chemistry
  • Demonstrate successful completion of programs similar to the Stage 1 Battery
  • Must demonstrate experience resolving problems revolving around requirements for obsolescence mitigation
  • Must demonstrate capabilities to resolve problems with material and process discrepancies during development and manufacturing of items similar to the Stage 1 Battery
  • Company recommended to have qualifications and employees that have worked with Thermal batteries
  • Must have the ability to obtain equipment (if not already possessed) and material to manufacture the Stage 1 Thermal Batteries or ones similar in nature
  • Must have a Total Quality Management (TQM) system or demonstrate a working equivalent quality management system
    • Government prefers agile manufacturing to demonstrate execution of programs with reliable and timely delivery
  • Must demonstrate capability and expertise for schedule adherence while addressing technical challenges
  • Must be able to perform qualification testing (including but not limited to performance, environmental and safety testing), or have a capable source to sub-contract testing


  • Provide estimate for schedule length from Contract Award through Qualification
    • Include first asset delivery and time required to mitigate obsolescence and any process improvements
  • Identify any critical manufacturing elements
  • Provide information on ISO 9001 certification, or equivalent system, and lean manufacturing processes
  • Provide estimated cost range such as a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) from Contract Award through Qualification and estimated production costs
    • The AF estimates the need for a sufficient number of batteries to satisfy qualification, any safety requirements specific to thermal batteries, as well an additional 100 batteries as initial spares


Responsible and capable sources may identify their interest by providing a white paper capability statement (limited to 10 pages) with sufficient information to substantiate respondents have all of the capabilities listed in Capabilities and answering all of the AF questions.  


Neither the release of this SSS nor any responses to it guarantee a solicitation will be issued.  A determination by the AF to not compete this solicitation is solely within the discretion of the AF.  The AF will not pay for either the effort or the associated costs to respond, nor for any information provided.