Hoeven Introduces Bipartisan Resolution Supporting the Modernization & Maintenance of the U.S. ICBM Fleet

As member of Defense Appropriations Committee, ICBM Coalition, Senator Secured Strong Funding to Update Nuclear Forces

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week introduced a bipartisan resolution supporting the modernization and maintenance of the nation’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) fleet. The resolution emphasizes the vital role of the U.S. nuclear forces in maintaining national security and stresses that weakening one leg of the nuclear triad undermines the credibility of the entire deterrent.

As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee and Senate ICBM Coalition, Hoeven is working to ensure that updates to the nation’s nuclear forces remain on schedule so that the U.S. will have a strong deterrent for decades to come. Hoeven’s resolution is cosponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and the full text can be found here.

“ICBMs have long served as part of the foundation of our nation’s security,” said Hoeven. “However, much of our missile fleet is operating well beyond its intended service life. At the same time, our adversaries, including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, continue to pursue their nuclear ambitions, whether it’s to develop more advanced capabilities or obtain their first nuclear weapon. We have secured strong funding for modernizing our nuclear forces in recent Fiscal Years, including the effort to modernize the ICBM force, and we will continue working to ensure this remains a top priority.”

In addition to the Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven serves on the committees overseeing appropriations for energy development and military construction. Through these roles, the senator successfully included the following priorities in Fiscal Year 2019 funding legislation passed by Congress and signed into law last fall:

  • Nearly $665 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) carried on the B-52. This is $50 million above the administration’s request and allows the program to continue moving ahead of schedule.
  • $655 million to extend the life of the W80 warhead, which flies on the ALCM at Minot Air Force Base and will transfer to the LRSO replacement missile.
  • Nearly $540 million to sustain the existing fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
  • $414 million for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program to replace the Minuteman III.
  • $400 million for upgrades to the B-52, including the procurement of new engines
  • $258 million to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopters used to secure the ICBM silos.
  • $66 million for a new helicopter facility at the Minot Air Force Base. The existing facilities are aging and will not accommodate new helicopters that will replace the Hueys.
  • $53 million to refurbish the W78 warheads that fly on the Minuteman III and will transfer to the replacement missile following the GBSD program.