Lockheed Martin [LMT] is to receive a five-year U.S. Air Force contract to conduct any needed repairs of Weapon System Control Console (WSCC) line replaceable units for the Boeing [BA] Minuteman III ICBMs.
The sole source contract from the Air Force Sustainment Center at Hill AFB, Utah is to follow similar contracts awarded to the company since 2016 for the work. The WSCC is the command and control brain for ICBM launches. Each WSCC has two operator work stations that oversee launch control centers and launch sites. The WSCCs have a number of sub-assemblies, including the auxiliary alarm panel, weapon system processor, launch control panel and the voice control panel.
An Air Force justification and approval (J&A) granting the service approval to award a sole source contract to Lockheed Martin said that the Air Force “attempted to obtain the data rights from Lockheed Martin” last Aug. 12, but “the company responded stating that it would not be in their best interest to sell the government any data, drawings, test procedures, or any other items associated with the WSCC repair requirement.”
“Accordingly, Lockheed Martin is the only firm capable of providing the repair services…without the USAF experiencing substantial duplication of cost that could not be expected to be recovered through competition and unacceptable delays and fulfilling its requirements,” the J&A said.
The Biden administration is conducting its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and has opposed congressional efforts to prohibit a reduction below 400 Minuteman IIIs (Defense Daily, Nov. 18, 2021). The Air Force is to retire the Minuteman IIIs by the mid-2030s, as the Northrop Grumman [NOC] Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) comes online.
Last September, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center awarded Boeing a contract potentially worth more than $1.6 billion through 2039 for guidance repair of the Minuteman IIIs (Defense Daily, Sept. 17).