U.S. Air Force releases an official request for a new ICBM InterContinental Ballistic Missile 13107161

Defence & Security News - United States
 
U.S. Air Force releases an official request for a new ICBM InterContinental Ballistic Missile.
The U.S. Air Force releases on Friday, July 29, 2016, an RFP (Request For Proposals) to replace the LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile and the nuclear cruise missile as the military moves ahead with a costly modernization of its aging atomic weapons systems.
     
The U.S. Air Force releases on Friday, July 29, 2016, an RFP (Request For Proposals) to replace the LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile and the nuclear cruise missile as the military moves ahead with a costly modernization of its aging atomic weapons systems. LGM-30 Minuteman III ICBM is stored in hardened silos. Image courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Bob Wickley, US Air Force.
     
"This request for proposals is the next step to ensuring the nation's ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) leg of the nuclear triad remains safe, secure and effective," said Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, the commander of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems.

Modernization of the U.S. nuclear force is expected to cost more than $350 billion over the next decade as the United States works to replace its aging systems, including bombs, nuclear bombers, missiles and submarines. Some analysts estimate the cost of modernization at $1 trillion over 30 years.

GBSD is the follow-on to the aging LGM-30 Minuteman III ICBM. The launch systems and weapon system command and control physical infrastructure being used for Minuteman III today first became operational with the Minuteman I ICBM system in the mid-1960s. While certain components and subsystems have been upgraded over the years, including a transition to Minuteman III configuration in the 1970s, most of the fundamental infrastructure in use today is original and has supported more than 50 years of continuous operation. The Minuteman III flight systems in use today were fielded in the late 1990s and early 2000s with an intended 20-year lifespan. The current Minuteman III system will face increased operational and sustainment challenges until it can be replaced.

The U.S. Air Force is focused on developing and delivering an integrated weapon system, including launch and command and control segments. The new GBSD weapon system will meet existing national requirements, while having the adaptability and flexibility to affordably address changing technology and threat environments through 2075. Deployment is projected to begin in the late 2020s.
"The Minuteman III will have a difficult time surviving in the active anti-access, area denial environment that we will be dealing with in the 2030 and beyond time period," Gen. Robin Rand, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, told the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee in March.

The the LGM-30G Minuteman III version[a] is the only land-based ICBM in service in the United States. The Minuteman III missile has a maximum range of 13,000 km (8078 miles) and carries a payload of three Reentry Vehicles (RVs). The missile originally used the 170 kT yield Mark 12 RV and later, the slightly heavier 335-350 kT Mark 12A RV.
 

 

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