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Defence Notes

​USAF seeks to start work on GBSD facilities in 2023

18th August 2020 - 15:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The USAF intends to start construction in 2023 on the first of three new facilities to house the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), which will replace the obsolescent fleet of Minuteman III ICBMs.

Construction at F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming will be followed by GBSD facilities at Malmstrom AFB, Montana (starting in 2026) and Minot AFB, North Dakota (2029).

However, these dates depend on the completion of environmental assessments at each base ‘in accordance with Federal laws and policies’, the USAF noted in a 14 August statement.

Using infrastructure at current locations allows both the Minuteman III and GBSD weapons systems to continue meeting all nuclear surety and safety standards throughout their operational lives, particularly during the transition period, the USAF added.

Gen Tim Ray, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said: ‘The Minuteman III is 50 years old; it’s past time to upgrade the missile systems. Our goal is ensure our systems remain fully safe, secure and effective in the defense of our nation and allies.’

The aim behind GBSD is to deliver a low technical risk, affordable and comprehensive replacement for Minuteman III from the late 2020s onwards.

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