LGM-30 Minuteman III land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)
LGM-30 Minuteman III land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

BAE Systems Awarded $12 Billion US Air Force Contract for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Support

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, Rockville, Maryland, has been awarded a $12,000,000,000 cost-plus-award-fee contract for Integration Support Contract (ISC) 2.0. The main function of ISC 2.0 is to support the government as the lead systems integrator and augment government resources for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) weapon system systems engineering and integration and professional services. Work will be primarily performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 24, 2040. This award is the result of a competitive request for proposals through publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website and five offers were received. The Air Force Nuclear Weapon Center, Hill AFB, Utah is the contract activity.

The main function of the ISC 2.0 is to support the LGM-30 Minuteman III, the next-generation LGM-35A Sentinel missile and any future ICBM developed during the term of the contract. The LGM-30 Minuteman is an American land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in service with the Air Force Global Strike Command. The LGM-30G Minuteman III version is the only land-based ICBM in service in the United States and represents the land leg of the U.S. nuclear triad, along with the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and nuclear weapons carried by long-range strategic bombers. The LGM-30G Minuteman-III program started in 1966 and included several improvements over the previous versions. Its first test launch took place on August 16, 1968.

Shown is an illustration of the LGM-35A Sentinel launch silo, the Air Force’s newest weapon system known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.

The LGM-35A Sentinel, also known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is a future American land-based intercontinental ballistic missile system (ICBM) currently in the early stages of development. It is slated to replace the aging Minuteman III missiles, currently stationed in North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Colorado, from 2029 through 2075. In 2020, under the Trump administration, the Department of the Air Force gave the defense contractor, Northrop Grumman, a $13.3 billion sole-source contract for development of the LGM-35 after Boeing withdrew its proposal. Northrop Grumman’s subcontractors on the LGM-35 include Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Bechtel, Honeywell, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Parsons, Textron and others.

The GBSD, the critics argued, was in motion well before Biden’s 2023 budget proposal, and well before Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, emphasizing that the conflict was being used to engineer justification for a policy that the American president would have already enacted. According to a Pentagon’s summary of the budget proposal, it calls for $34.4 billion to “recapitalize all three legs of the nuclear triad”. The huge missile deal with BAE came just two days after the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee passed a proposal to further boost the country’s military budget by $37 billion on top of the record $773 billion proposed by Biden.