Lockheed Martin on Dec. 15 received a new contract and the Air Force extended a second worth a total of about $60 million to revitalize the Air Force’s Minuteman III re-entry systems. The awards include a $50 million, four-year fixed price contract covering seven reentry field support equipment units and additional support equipment. Another $10.6 million contract extends an existing deal for ICBM reentry vehicle integration and modernization, according to a Lockheed release. The contracts come as the Air Force seeks to modernize its Minuteman III fleet to keep it viable until its replacement. A request for proposal for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent system went out this fall, with development expected in the late 2020s, and an expected cost of about $62 billion.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.