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Boeing will continue working on Minuteman III ICBM guidance systems into the late 2030s


The U.S. Air Force has chosen Boeing as the primary contractor to maintain the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) guidance subsystems. The work under the contract, which has a maximum value of $1.6 billion over 16 years and will mostly be done in Ogden, Utah, and Heath, Ohio, is anticipated to support a sizable number of direct and indirect jobs in the region.

To provide safe, secure, and efficient strategic deterrence through the late 2030s, Boeing will maintain the round-the-clock readiness and precision of Minuteman ICBM guidance systems, which have logged more than 40 million hours of continuous operation.

No other company is as familiar with it as Boeing, which manufactured the Minuteman’s guiding system, says Ted Kerzie, programme director of Strategic Deterrence Systems, adding that the Company’s highly specialised facilities and top-flight engineers enable us to sustain it with unrivalled quality and precision.

According to one of the Air Force’s top nuclear programme officers, the modernisation of the 450 silos containing Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles to handle its replacement, now dubbed Sentinel, is a “huge endeavour” that the service wants to begin in the mid-to late-2020s.

The Minuteman III missiles entered service in 1970, and the United States had 1,000 of them in service at the height of the Cold War in the 1970s. Today, over 400 missiles remain operational.

Minuteman III has an estimated range of 14,000 kilometres and a maximum flight height of 1,000 kilometres above the surface of the Earth. Minuteman III will deliver either a W78 (350 kt) or W87 (300 kt) individually guided nuclear warhead to the target. Under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), each U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile carries one warhead, although this number can be expanded to three if necessary.

Last year, the Americans unveiled the official name of a new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) developed under the GBSD (Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent) programme. The existing ICBM LGM-30G Minuteman III successor will bear the moniker LGM-35A Sentinel.

The development and deployment of the new LGB-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missiles ensure the continuity of the United States’ strategic nuclear deterrence. According to the U.S. Air Force, the development and introduction of new missiles is a cheaper solution than the upgrade of the 50-year-old missiles Minuteman III.

Previously, the United States has proposed cannibalising half of the Minuteman III missiles and keeping the remaining 200 until 2050. Nevertheless, in light of the expanding nuclear ambitions of Russia and China, Washington decided to maintain the whole ground component of the nuclear triad.

Frontier India News Network
Frontier India News Networkhttps://frontierindia.com/briefs
Frontier India News Network is the in-house news collection and distribution agency.


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