Orlando, Fla. The Air Force will have a better understanding of the cost of recapitalizing its ICBM force when the Ground Based Strategic Deterrence analysis of alternatives is complete this June, Air Force Global Strike Command boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson said Thursday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium here. Wilson said the AOA is currently under way to determine the future of the land-based leg of the nuclear triad. Options could include a similar system to the Minuteman III, sustaining the existing fleet, or even mobile basing. “Typically, an AOA takes 18 months, we are doing this in 10 months,” said Wilson. He added, “Affordability will be one of the key attributes that we look at. We have to maintain the Minuteman III through 2030, [so] the replacement has to be affordable.” USAF leaders have noted any investment in the Minuteman force must be able to transfer to follow on capability, and Wilson said existing ICBM infrastructure is being factored in to the AOA. Any follow on system, or sustainment of the current fleet, would have to have an initial operational capability starting in the 2030 timeframe, he added.
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.