The U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill AFB, Utah, on Sept. 17 awarded Boeing [BA] a contract potentially worth more than $1.6 billion through 2039 for guidance repair of the company’s 400 Minuteman IIIs.
“This contract will repair the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) missile guidance set,” per a DoD contract announcement on Sept. 17. “Work will be performed in Newark, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 27, 2039.”
DoD said that it obligated about $32.5 million in fiscal 2021 operations and maintenance funding at the time of the award.
Last year, Ted Kerzie, Boeing’s director of Strategic Deterrent Systems, touted Boeing’s expertise with Minuteman guidance systems since the 1960s, and the Air Force has said that Boeing might find work on future modernization and maintenance programs for the Northrop Grumman [NOC] Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)–work that would be akin to Northrop Grumman’s role in Minuteman III refurbishment a decade ago (Defense Daily, June 9, 2020).
The Biden administration is reviewing nuclear policy, and some defense analysts believe that the White House may significantly alter the triad and cut GBSD.