The Air Force said Wednesday it awarded BAE Systems an eight year, $535 million contract for Minuteman III ICBM sustainment.

The Air Force said three offers were received for the contract. An industry source told Defense Daily Northrop Grumman [NOC] and Booz Allen Hamilton [BAH] were the other bidders, but when asked for confirmation, company spokeswoman Michelle Bohlen said Friday it was Northrop Grumman policy not to comment until it was debriefed. Booz Allen Hamilton spokesman James Fisher declined to comment Friday. Calls to Hill AFB, Utah, the contracting authority, were not returned by press time.

The Air Force test launches a Minuteman III ICBM in September 2010. Photo: Air Force.

The contract is specifically a fixed-price-level-of-effort, firm-fixed-price and cost-type-contract line item number (CLIN) contract to provide system engineering/technical assistance support, training and development in performing integration, sustaining engineering and program management support functions. BAE Systems said in a statement the work will be performed primarily at three locations: Hill AFB; Vandenberg AFB, Calif.; and near Barksdale AFB, La.

This is the first Minuteman III sustainment contract for BAE Systems, according to company spokesman Neil Franz, but not the first nuclear missile contract as BAE Systems has provided engineering and integration for the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, supporting submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).

Franz said the contract is part of the Air Force’s Future ICBM Sustainment and Acquisition Concept (FISAC) program. There are four additional contracts to be awarded as part of FISAC: Re-entry subsystem/Re-entry vehicle (RS/RV), propulsion, ground and guidance subsystem with RS/RV expected to be a sole-source award. RS/RV is expected to be awarded in third quarter fiscal year 2014, propulsion in fourth quarter FY ’14 and ground and guidance subsystems in third quarter FY ’15.

This contract will replace the systems engineering integration and test (SEIT), program management support and a variety of other ICBM weapon system sustainment engineering functions performed by the ICBM prime integration contract, which expired in September 2012.

There are 450 Minuteman IIIs in the Air Force’s arsenal. Northrop Grumman is the prime integrator for Minuteman III while Boeing [BA] performs maintenance and sustainment in support of the entire system. Boeing spokesman Dexter Henson said Friday while the company didn’t bid on this contract, it would pursue the additional contracts to be awarded as part of FISAC.