Air Force awards contracts for a new ICBM weapon system
The Air Force has announced the award of two technology maturation and risk reduction contracts for its Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system program, the replacement for the aging LGM-30 Minuteman III ICBM.
The contracts were awarded to Boeing and Northrop Grumman at $349 million and $328 million respectively
Boeing's Strategic Deterrence Systems Director, Frank McCall, hailed the contract, saying Boeing has been providing tech support for Minuteman missile since their first launch in 1961
\"The Minuteman III is the enduring ground-based leg of our nuclear triad. However, it is an aging platform and requires major investments to maintain its reliability and effectiveness,\" said Gen. Robin Rand, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command. \"GBSD is the most cost-effective ICBM replacement strategy, leveraging existing infrastructure while also implementing mature, modern technologies and more efficient operations, maintenance and security concepts.\"
The Air Force has estimated that the project would cost US taxpayers at least $62 billion. However, the Pentagon's office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) says the costs would surpass $85 billion.
\"The new weapon system will meet the combatant commander's current requirements, while having the adaptability to affordably address changing technology and emerging threats through 2075,\" said Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, the AFNWC commander and the Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems.