Flight tests of the American advanced Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) are scheduled for 2023, Popular Mechanics magazine reported.
The publication, calling the new weapon “the sword of Armageddon”, recalls that it will replace the current ICBM LGM-30G Minuteman III – the ground component of the US nuclear triad. The GBSD program envisions funding of $ 61 billion over the next ten years.
The publication writes that the strategic missile being developed by Northrop Grumman “will provide a rapid-response nuclear weapons delivery system that can hit virtually any point on Earth in a matter of minutes.”
According to the magazine, GBSD development is currently in the “critical design validation” phase of the subsystems. It is clarified that the creation of weapons is carried out using digital technologies. In particular, only on the selection of the optimal configuration of the new rocket, carried out on a computer, six billion dollars were spent.
Popular Mechanics recalls that the US Air Force (Air Force) plans to acquire 400 GBSD units, each of which will be equipped with a W87-1 thermonuclear warhead with a capacity of 335 – 350,000 kilotons of TNT.
The high cost of the program is facing criticism from its opponents, who, in particular, suggest upgrading the old LGM-30G Minuteman III.
In May, Defense News, citing a statement from General Timothy Ray, reported that the creation of a new ICBM under the GBSD program to replace the LGM-30G Minuteman III, which has been in service since 1970, would cost $ 38 billion less than supporting the latter before 2075 year.
In October 2019, The Washington Post wrote that the American military-industrial company Northrop Grumman was the only contender for the GBSD contract for the Pentagon.