The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill AFB, Utah has awarded Boeing [BA] an up to $1.6 billion sole-source contract through Feb. 1, 2039 for engineering services to support the guidance systems for company-built Minuteman III ICBMs.

Boeing said on Feb. 1 that work will be primarily performed in Ogden, Utah, and Heath, Ohio, and is expected to support a significant amount of direct and indirect jobs in the area.

“Boeing will maintain the around-the-clock readiness and accuracy of Minuteman ICBM guidance systems — which have logged more than 40 million hours of continuous operation — to ensure safe, secure and effective strategic deterrence into the late 2030s,” the company said.

In September 2021, Boeing received another $1.6 billion sole-source contract for Minuteman III guidance system repair work through Sept. 27, 2039 (Defense Daily, Sept. 17, 2021). Boeing said the latter deal was the renewal of a contract Boeing has held exclusively since 1996.

Congress is likely to examine nuclear modernization during this year’s hearings on the fiscal 2024 budget, and some preliminary thoughts by GOP congressional observers have suggested foregoing the planned buy of the Northrop Grumman [NOC] LGM-35A Sentinel in favor of extending the life of the 450 Minuteman IIIs.