Northrop Grumman Wins $13.3 Billion Contract To Build New ICBM

Defense firm Northrop Grumman has announced it has landed a major defense contract to lead in developing America’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program.

It won a whopping $13.3 billion Air Force contract to build the Pentagon’s next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), crucial in nuclear deterrence.

A Northrop Grumman press release said that a team nationwide that will include over 10,000 engineers, scientists and technicians will spend eight-and-a-half years building the new missile, with an expected operational goal of 2029

Via Getty Images

In a Tuesday press conference announcing the contract, Defense Secretary Mark Esper affirmed the controversial plans to push forward America’s nuclear arsenal, at a time fears grow of a ‘new Cold War’ arms race with Russia and China, also as the New START treaty hangs in the balance. 

“Modernizing the nuclear strategic triad is a top priority of our military,” Esper said. “It’s key to our nation’s defense. It provides that strategic nuclear deterrent that we depend on day after day – that we’ve depended on decade after decade.”

The efforts are an outgrowth of a prior Obama administration plan for an overhaul and modernization of the US nuclear arsenal, which a 2017 CBO report estimated to cost $1.2 trillion over the next three decades

A Northrop Grumman building in El Segundo, California. Image via Yahoo News

Both Congressional Democrats as well as arms control groups have remained fierce critics. Former Defense Secretary William Perry said in a statement in association with the nuclear nonproliferation group Ploughshares Fund, subsequently cited in The Hill“The highest probability of starting a nuclear war is a mistaken launch caused by a false alarm and a rushed decision to launch nuclear-armed ICBMs.”

He added, “Instead of spending billions of dollars on new nuclear missiles we don’t need, we must focus on preventing accidental nuclear war.”

Source link