Author Topic: Many More Minutes Left to Fill  (Read 813 times)

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Offline U-238

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Many More Minutes Left to Fill
« on: September 16, 2012, 08:20:53 PM »
The Air Force already has completed about $7 billion worth of improvements to the Minuteman III ICBM fleet to keep it viable through 2020, said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, on Sept. 13. However, there is still more work to do for the Air Force to maintain the fleet's capability through 2030 as Congress has directed, he acknowledged during a Capitol Hill speech sponsored by AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and the Reserve Officers Association. For example, although the Air Force replaced the Minuteman missiles' boosters just a few years ago, they only have a service life of 10 years, so they will require replacement once again, said Kowalski. That means now is the time to start planning and programming for that, he said. Further, among other issues, while the Air Force is "proceeding fairly well" with the fuse refurbishment on the W87 warhead, "we have to take a long-term look at what we need for that . . . to get to 2030," he said. As for the W78 warhead, the Air Force is planning a life extension in the mid 2020s, he said.

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