Boeing has won a $1.6 billion contract with Washington to supply guidance systems for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Pentagon announced in a statement Wednesday. The contract does not provide for the precise number of guidance systems to be delivered by Boeing, but it plans to extend until February 1, 2039, said the US Department of Defense, which publishes the contracts awarded to the various suppliers daily.
"The work will be performed at Air Force One in Hill, Utah," it further states. The Minuteman III, in service for fifty years, is a warhead-equipped missile that, in wartime, can carry a nuclear bomb. The Pentagon had carried out a routine test on September 7, but the operation had been announced in advance in order to avoid any escalation of tensions with Russia in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine.
The unarmed missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and traveled 6,760 km over the Pacific before crashing into the sea near Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. It is the only ground-fired intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the United States' nuclear arsenal. It is installed in launch silos spread over three US military bases, in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana (northern United States). Trident missiles, launched from the sea, are deployed on board American submarines, while nuclear bombs are carried by strategic bombers.