AF awards contracts for next-generation ICBM airborne launch control system

October 6, 2017

US Air Force:

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) — The Air Force awarded two contracts Oct. 3, 2017, for upgrading the system that enables an aircraft to control an intercontinental ballistic missile’s launch from a silo in the ground.

The three-year contracts, of about $81 million each, were awarded to Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Littleton, Colorado, and Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The awards begin a design competition for upgrading the nuclear command-and-control mission system that provides U.S. Strategic Command with the capability to launch ICBMs through commands from the Navy’s E-6B Mercury. Both the current Minuteman III and future Ground Based Strategic Deterrent ICBMs require an alternate launch control capability should anything interfere with the ability of the ground-based facilities to launch ICBMs.

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