Pentagon Review After US Minuteman III Missile Replacement Breaks $96 Billion Budget

The US Air Force is notifying Congress that the cost of the Sentinel ICBM program, designed and managed by Northrop Grumman, has now increased to over $131 billion, an increase of at least 37% over a pre-pandemic cost estimate finalized in September 2020. (US Air Force image)

WASHINGTON — The replacement for the ground-based U.S. nuclear arsenal anchored by the Minuteman III has officially busted through its $95.8 billion budget due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, the Air Force said on Thursday.

Replacing Munitions is Pentagon's Priority in 2024 Budget

The Air Force is notifying Congress that the program, being designed and managed by Northrop Grumman Corp, is now at least 37% over a pre-pandemic cost estimate finalized in September 2020, Andrew Hunter, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, told Reuters in an interview.

Program changes, such as making bigger silos and switching to more durable materials, have also raised costs.

The total program cost, now estimated above $131 billion, could grow further as the U.S. Secretary of Defense concludes a review by the summer.

While cost overruns regularly occur at the Department of Defense, the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is especially expensive to replace.

The missile network is part of the so-called nuclear triad that includes nuclear-tipped ground-based ICBM, nuclear-capable bomber aircraft and submarine-launched nuclear arms. “It’s been over 70 years since we did the ground piece of this,” Hunter said. “We didn’t estimate it well.”

Blasting through cost estimate thresholds triggers the Nunn-McCurdy Act. The 1982 law requires the Pentagon to formally justify to Congress the importance of a program in which unit acquisition costs have risen more than 25% above a baseline, and to show there are no alternatives.

Related Posts

Launch of the World’s Nine Elite Military Attack Helicopters: Warbirds

It looks like you’ve provided descriptions of various attack helicopters. Here’s a summary of each helicopter mentioned: Ka-52 “Alligator”: This Russian helicopter is known for its high…

Bomber planes: capable of carrying hundreds of bombs anywhere at any time thanks to their powerful engines.-pink

Aмidst the roar of their eпgiпes, these ƄoмƄer plaпes epitoмize the epitoмe of aerial firepower, Ƅoastiпg the capacity to traпsport hυпdreds of ƄoмƄs, poised to raiп dowп…

The Most Advanced Helicopter in the World.-pink

The heyday of the eга of аttасk helicopters feɩɩ on the second half of the twentieth century. These foгmіdаЬɩe, һeаⱱіɩу агmed machines can effectively fіɡһt tanks, сoⱱeг…

Lav-25A2: Admire the power of the United States Army’s Armed Forces.mina

The LAV-25A2 stands as a unique and indispensable asset within the United States military, holding the distinction of being the sole armored vehicle capable of airdrop deployment….

Breaking through the darkness: MC-130P Combat Shadow

Builder: Lockheed Martin Services: United States Air Force Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines Speed: 289 mph (at sea level) Maximum Takeoff Weight: 155,000 pounds (69,750…

Leonardo AW609: V-22 Osprey descendants

Using the same technology as the V-22 Osprey military aircraft, the AgustaWestland AW609 deserves to be the most modern civilian helicopter in the world. The Tiltrotor VTOL…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *