Hoeven Statement After Air Force Awards Northrop Grumman with Contract for New GBSD

Senator Secured Funding for Nuclear Modernization, Working to Keep Missile Replacement on Schedule

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven issued the following statement today after the U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman with the $13.3 billion contract for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, the replacement for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to secure funding for the GBSD program and included provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to ensure the replacement program stays on schedule.

“The GBSD is an integral part of modernizing our nation’s nuclear forces and ensuring that we maintain a strong strategic deterrent. We’ve worked hard to provide the funding to keep this program on budget and on time. We look forward to continuing to work with Northrop Grumman to ensure that our nation’s land-based ICBMs, including those stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, are ready and able to protect our nation and deter our enemies.”

Earlier this summer, Hoeven helped pass the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 NDAA and worked to ensure the legislation continues authorization for nuclear modernization efforts that support the missions at Minot Air Force Base, including:

  • $1.5 billion in funding authority for the new Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the replacement for the Minuteman III.
    • Hoeven included an amendment to prevent delays in deploying the GBSD. All nuclear weapons must be capable of withstanding electro-magnetic pulses (EMPs). Hoeven’s amendment requires the Air Force to report on how the GBSD will be protected from EMPs to keep the replacement on schedule.
  • Authorizing upgrades to the B-52, including the new engine program.
  • A new nuclear cruise missile, the Long Range Stand Off missile, to replace the Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
  • Authorization for the new cruise missile warheads.
  • Prohibiting the reduction of ICBMs to any lower than the currently deployed 400 missiles.
  • Authorization for a replacement helicopter for the aging UH-1 helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.