WASHINGTON, BM – If you are wondering where exactly the United States is keeping its only Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles in full combat readiness, then we will give you this answer. The bases are Hill AFB, Utah; Vandenberg AFB, California; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota; FE Warren AFB, Wyoming; and Offutt AFB, Nebraska.
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Willingly or unwillingly, but the U.S. Department of Defense announced yesterday, July 7, a contract between the government and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. to service its ICBMs over the next 18 years for a total of $ 3.860 billion. The contract is published on the website of the Department of Defense and with it the airbases, where the company will have to perform its activities under the contract.
For the next 18 years, Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. will have to service all maintenance systems in the combat readiness of ballistic missiles – hardware, software, testing, evaluation, modification of systems, engineering, production engineering, and various developments.
The United States has three variants of Minuteman III ballistic missiles. They are the backbone of the US nuclear triad, and the missile that Northrup Grumman will take care of for the next 18 years is the LGM-30G Minuteman III and is the only surface-to-air missile.
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Minuteman III has been in service in the United States since 1970, and its development began in the 60s of the last century. In recent decades, the missile has received several upgrades and modifications, increased re-entry flexibility (RV) and means of penetration, increased viability after a nuclear attack, and increased payload capacity. Minuteman III can carry three thermonuclear warheads model W62 Mk-12, which were also developed in the 60s of the last century.
New US nuclear missile
As we reported earlier, the US government launched a phase of engineering and development of a new Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) Weapon System better known as the new nuclear cruise missile. Raytheon will be the contractor for this phase of the project and received $ 2 billion for it.
At his traditional briefing on Friday, July 2, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said the LRSO was key to the American nuclear triad (water, air, land). He reminded accredited journalists that the nuclear triad is the basis of national security.
A nuclear triad is a collection of nuclear weapons, including air-to-air nuclear missiles, ground-to-air nuclear missiles, and nuclear-launched nuclear missiles or submarines.
According to Kirby, the contract awarded to Raytheon is a continuation of a long process in the engineering business and the development of a new nuclear cruise missile for the United States and the defense budget ensures that this phase receives its funding. Kirby recalled that the United States needs to modernize its nuclear missiles.
Is there a need?
There is a deadline by 2027 for Raytheon to complete this phase, as stated in the press release announcing the contract. The question that was asked of Kirby is important, as there is currently a debate in the United States and a review of the need for new nuclear weapons, or their modernization.
The United States has prepared approximately $ 270 billion for the development of new nuclear weapons, according to Defense One. The authors of this publication conclude why it is not necessary to spend billions on new nuclear weapons. They think:
First, the United States does not need localized nuclear missiles (the silos we mentioned above) because they become an easy target for the enemy.
Second, the chance of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile due to human error, involuntary “push” of the button, and weak nerves is very high. Just the day before, on May 6, it was a computer problem that failed the launch of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.
Third, intercontinental ballistic missiles are difficult to sell. These are not ships, submarines, planes – this is an entirely different technology that requires high costs, maintenance, and annual testing.
Fourth, the United States has hundreds of missiles with nuclear warheads in its submarines. It’s much harder to find a sub to destroy than a missile silo. For God’s sake, we know where the US silos are.
The presence of hundreds of nuclear missiles in the Pentagon submarines gives the United States a better advantage over Russia. With these missiles, the authors of the proposal believe that the United States can hit Russia’s 50 largest cities at any time.
5G smart warehouses
Perspecta Labs is a US company that has won a pair of contracts to develop 5G smart warehouses and spectrum sharing for the US Navy and Air Force. The contract has been awarded by the US Department of Defense and will be implemented next year by the company. The value of both contracts is a total of $ 8.1 million.
One of the two contracts is worth $ 5 million. Under this project, Perspecta Labs is tasked with developing a 5G smart warehouse at a Colorado naval base. Thanks to this project, in the future, this database will use better-built automation of warehousing and postal services, as well as autonomous sharing of information between intelligent warehouses in the database. All this means that even low-level communication – postal services between naval units will be more efficient and monitored in real-time.
Under this project, the company will also have to create a secure connection between all connected autonomous devices in the database. All this means creating additional network support devices connected to the Internet of Things.
The second contract, worth $ 3.1 million, should provide dynamic spectrum sharing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. This project will give an advantage to radars located in the base, which will share 5G spectra in the studied range of 3.1-3.45 GHz. The main goal of this project is fast detection and response to radar activity.
“Operational-scale experimentation and testing are critical to achieving the potential of commercial 5G infrastructure in industries from defense, transportation and logistics to critical infrastructure, health care, and manufacturing,” company President Petros Mouchtaris said. “Perspecta Labs is excited to design, implement and deploy dual-use 5G prototypes at DOD test sites as part of the world’s largest full-scale 5G experiments.”
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