The United States currently fields 400 nuclear-tipped Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in land-based silos at Malmstrom, Minot, and Warren Air Force bases stretching across Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. Despite a recently-completed, multibillion-dollar, decade-long program to extend these missiles’ service life, the Air Force is moving ahead with plans to develop a new, replacement ICBM—the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD).
The country’s struggle to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need to rethink national security and budget priorities, including this costly, dangerous, and unnecessary new weapon.
As soon as this summer, the Air Force plans to award a contract to Northrop Grumman—the sole bidder—in what will likely be the largest Pentagon development contract ever awarded non-competitively. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (WA-9) has called the decision to move forward with the sole-source contract “very troubling.”