Boeing and Northrop Grumman have each received deals to start developing a replacement for the Minuteman III.
The Trump administration placed orders with two major defense firms on Monday to start working on technology for new intercontinental ballistic missiles to replace the Cold War-era Minuteman III.
The deals come amid nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea and increased tension with Russia, which is upgrading its ICBMs.
“Things just wear out, and it becomes more expensive to maintain them than to replace them,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a statement. “We need to cost-effectively modernize.”
The Air Force chose Boeing, builder of the Minuteman III, and Northrop Grumman to work on the technology that will be part of the military’s new ICBM. The Pentagon is expected to choose one of the two companies to build more than 400 of the missiles, part of a project called Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD).
“We look forward to working with the both of them.” Shared President/CEO Dale Steenbergen, “The modernization is important to our local economy and we are excited to continue to work on this initiative.”