Input Sought on Future ICBM Concepts

The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is asking industry for ideas on future concepts for the ground-based leg of the nation’s nuclear triad. Center officials requested white papers by the end of February that describe a Ground Based Strategic Deterrent with an operational service life from 2025 to 2075, according to a notice posted last week at the Federal Business Opportunities website and revised on Jan. 15. AFNWC is supporting the Air Force’s efforts to examine potential material solutions to modernize or replace the Minuteman III ICBM fleet. To that end, the center seeks input on four types of concepts: continued use of the MM III with incremental changes to close identified capability gaps; a new fixed-site system; new mobile system; and new tunnel-based system. “Each white paper should provide adequate technical, schedule, and cost information to allow feasibility analysis of the concept,” states the notice. Service officials intend to take the concepts judged to be “adequate”—including potential continued use of the MM III until 2075 with no attempt to close capability gaps—into the GBSD analysis of alternatives study, states the notice. The AOA will help identify the best option.