The US Air Force has selected Boeing as the prime contractor to support the US intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) guidance subsystems in a deal worth $1.6 billion over 16 years.
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Boeing will maintain around-the-clock readiness and accuracy of Minuteman ICBM Guidance Systems to ensure the weapons remain a safe and effective deterrence strategy into the late 2030s.
The Minuteman ICBM subsystems have already logged more than 40 million hours of continuous operation as a nuclear deterrent and are being replaced by the future Ground Based Strategic Deterrent ICBM in development.
Strategic Deterrence Systems program director Ted Kerzie said Boeing is the only company that has continuously supported every ICBM subsystem including guidance, ground, propulsion, and re-entry over the lifetime of the system.
“We built the Minuteman’s guidance system, so no one knows it like Boeing,” Kerzie said.
“Our highly-specialised facilities and top-flight engineers enable us to sustain it with unmatched quality and precision.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Air Force on this all-important mission.”
Boeing was originally selected as prime contractor for the Minuteman ICBM program in 1958 and made its first successful silo launch of Minuteman 1 in 1961.
There are now around 400 Minuteman III missiles located in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota. Each solid-fuelled ICBM carries three multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles with a payload of between 170 to 335 kilotons.