LGM-35 Sentinel ICBM Programme Faces Cost Overruns
The new ICBM programme contracted to Northrop Grumman has exceeded the planned costs by per cent 37, and a two-year delay is anticipated, as reported by Air and Space Forces Magazine. According to the Nunn-McCurdy Act, a cost breach of more than per cent 15 is “significant”, while per cent 30 and above is considered “critical”.
The original estimated cost of the programme was $95.3 billion, but the recent deviation suggests a cost of $125 billion. Because of the cost overrun, the Air Force expects a change in the programme schedule.
Northrop Grumman conducted the second-stage rocket motor tests of the missile earlier this week. The test was conducted in vacuum conditions to simulate the extreme altitude conditions that the second stage will experience. The first stage of the missile was tested in March 2023.
LGM-35 Sentinel will replace the ageing ground-based LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBMs of the U.S. nuclear triad. The missile will feature a new flight control system, new re-entry vehicles for nuclear payloads and Astro-inertial guidance.