HomeNewsArticle Display

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

U.S. Air Force Capt. Greg Carter, a deputy missile combat crew commander-airborne from the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, launches a simulated Minuteman III missile aboard a U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury during Glory Trip 220 above the Pacific Ocean, April 25, 2017. Glory Trip is an operational test launch which continues a long history of launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., used to verify, validate and improve the capability of the nation’s ICBM force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keifer Bowes)

Capt. Greg Carter, 625th Strategic Operations Squadron deputy missile combat crew commander, launches a simulated Minuteman III missile aboard a Navy E-6B Mercury during Glory Trip 220 above the Pacific Ocean, April 25, 2017. Glory Trip is an operational test launch which continues a long history of launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., used to verify, validate and improve the capability of the nation’s ICBM force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keifer Bowes)

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.

For the Minuteman III, the current Airborne Launch Control System provides this capability through 1960s-era radio equipment at each of 450 Air Force ICBM launch facilities in the U.S. and aging equipment on the Mercury aircraft. The control system’s replacement will provide a sustainable and low-cost capability to launch ICBMs through aircraft commands.

“We are developing a modular system that can be easily upgraded to address new technologies and threats as they emerge,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center commander and program executive officer for strategic systems.

The goal of the center’s program office at Hill Air Force Base is to field the upgraded replacement system by 2024.

“The Airborne Launch Control System provides the strategic capability of survivable airborne command and control for the Air Force’s fleet of ICBMs,” said Col. Scott Jones, the center’s ICBM Systems director. “The new system will be a timely replacement of the legacy system and provide continued ICBM airborne command-and-control capability through 2075.”

The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command. Headquartered at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, the center has about 1,100 personnel assigned to 17 locations worldwide, including at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts; Hill AFB; Eglin AFB, Florida; Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; and Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: We thank Matt Donovan for 40+ yrs of dedication to the #USAF. His leadership will continue to be vital to taking care of…
RT @DeptofDefense: For three decades, Ara Shishmanian served his country in the @USAFReserve. He also serves in the classroom. Press ▶️ to…
RT @AETCommand: #BehindTheScenes - Command Chief Master Sergeant training course students at @HQAirUniversity learn about leadership, commu…
RT @thejointstaff: Watch today's change of responsibility ceremony, hosted by #GenMilley, live @ 10 a.m. EST on Twitter. @SEAC_Troxell wil…
RT @HQ_AFMC: 📽️We're back to the @Afresearchlab for Day 10 of #24DaysAFMC. This year they tested a state-of-the-art rocket #engine preburne…
RT @16AF_AFCYBER: The holiday season is a prime time for online thieves to take advantage of weaknesses in shoppers' devices to extract per…
RT @USAFCENT: ALWAYS READY | Members of the 823d Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron test their combat life-saving skills during a medical…
Nearly 10,000 participants from around the world took part in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China. And… https://t.co/CRYacyFtEJ
Ever heard of the rule of 0-0-1-3? No. Well it means to have zero alcohol if you're underage, zero drinks if you're… https://t.co/7bNRnhYuWS
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…