USAF Contracts Two Firms to Develop New ICBM

On August 21, the U.S. Air Force awarded contracts to Boeing and Northrop Grumman, $349.2 million and $328.6 million respectively, for the development of a new ICBM to replace the nearly 50 year old LGM-30G Minuteman III. Part of the nascent Ground Based Strategic Deterrence project (GBSD), the companies will have until August 2020 to develop their new technology.

The USAF will select one company to build more than 400 of the new missiles, and are expected to begin fielding the missile in 2027, which is expected serve as the primary U.S. land-based ICBM until 2075. The USAF estimated in 2016 that it would cost $62.3 billion to replace the Minuteman III fleet, but the Pentagon estimated costs could exceed $85 billion.

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