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IPFS News Link • Weapons/Weaponry

Northrop Grumman Wins $13.3 Billion Contract To Build New ICBM

•, by Tyler Durden

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. 

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

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."