top of page
  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

US Minuteman III Missile Replacement Breaks $96-B Budget

The replacement for the ground-based US nuclear arsenal anchored by the Minuteman III has officially surpassed its $95.8 billion budget due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, as reported by Mike Stone for Reuters.


While cost overruns regularly occur at the Department of Defense, the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is especially expensive to replace. I Photo: U.S. Air Force



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


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 US 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.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

"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.




Optimize asset flow management and real-time inventory visibility with RFID tracking devices and custom cloud solutions.
Sweetmat disinfection mat

Comments


bottom of page