Cost of US program to replace obsolete nuclear missiles soars to $160 billion, threatening other defense projects

Cost of US program to replace obsolete nuclear missiles soars to $160 billion, threatening other defense projects
Cost of US program to replace obsolete nuclear missiles soars to $160 billion, threatening other defense projects

Reuters.- The cost of the program of the Force Aerial of the United States to replace missiles nuclear obsolete products climbed to around $160 billion from $95.8 billion, according to three sources, a situation that could trigger clippings from other crucial funds modernization plans.

The project, now called the intercontinental ballistic missile program (ICBM) Sentinel, is designed and managed by Northrop Grumman Corp and aims to replace the aging missiles Minuteman III.

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Its price has risen by about $65 billion from a previous estimate in 2020, according to a U.S. official, an industry executive and an aide briefed on the matter. This could force the Pentagon to reduce the scope or timeline of the project, a second industry executive said.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that the new precio was around 141 billion dollars and that the Pentagon was evaluating modifications to the construction and the schedule.

Northrop Grumman declined to comment. The Pentagon did not comment on the figure but said it expected to provide a new cost estimate around Tuesday.

The new estimate of costs Sentinel’s estimate dwarfs an increase of “at least” $131 billion that the Air Force made public in January.

This factor activated the Ley Nunn-McCurdya 1982 rule that requires the Pentagon to formally justify to Congress the importance of a program whose unit acquisition costs have increased more than 25% above the initial price.

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Defense Secretary is expected to Lloyd Austinplease deliver that notice next week.

Although Air Force leaders argue that Sentinel is crucial to maintaining the nuclear deterrent States Joinedthe Pentagon asked industry to provide cost estimates on a life extension program for the existing inventory of missiles Minuteman III, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

According to two of the sources, rising cost estimates are exerting pressure on other Air Force priorities, such as the fighter aircraft program Next Generation Air Dominance.

Other programs potentially at risk include the development of armas hypersoniche bombardier B-21 and various space initiatives.

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