Flight tests of the American advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) are scheduled for 2023, according to Popular Mechanics magazine.
The publication, calling the new weapon the “sword of Armageddon”, recalls that it will replace the existing LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBMs — the ground component of the US nuclear triad. The GBSD program assumes funding for $ 61 billion for the next ten years.
The publication writes that the strategic missile created by Northrop Grumman Corporation “will provide a rapid-reaction nuclear weapon delivery system that can hit almost any point on Earth in a matter of minutes.”
According to the journal, the development of GBSD is currently at the stage of the “critical design verification” of subsystems. It is specified that the creation of weapons is carried out using digital technologies. In particular, only six billion dollars were spent on the selection of the optimal configuration of the new rocket, carried out on a computer.
Popular Mechanics reminds that the Air Force of the United States plans to purchase 400 units of GBSD, each of which will be equipped with a W87-1 thermonuclear warhead with a capacity of 335 — 350,000 kilotons in TNT equivalent.
The high cost of the program faces criticism from its opponents, who propose, in particular, to modernize the old LGM-30G Minuteman III.
In May, the Defense News publication, referring to the statement of General Timothy Ray, reported that the creation of a new ICBM under the GBSD program to replace the LGM-30G Minuteman III, which has been in service since 1970, will cost $ 38 billion cheaper than supporting the latter until 2075.