Looking Ahead

The Air Force intends to keep the Minuteman III ICBM fleet in service until 2030, per Congress’ mandate, but is already in the early stages of exploring a successor land-based strategic deterrent, said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, head of Air Force Global Strike Command. A capabilities assessment is ongoing, and, next year, the command will conduct pre-analysis-of-alternatives work on future LBSD options, he told attendees of AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium last week in Orlando, Fla. Regarding the command’s nuclear-capable bomber assets, Kowalski said the command will push to install a new anti-skid braking system and new radar on the service’s B-52s, and install extra-high-frequency satellite communications capability on the B-2 fleet to enable beyond-line-of-sight, network-ready connectivity.