US Nuclear Weapons Center unveils new nuke weapons contacts

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By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in Albuquerque has announced billions of dollars in nuclear weapons contracts aimed at modernizing the ground- and air-based legs of the country's nuclear triad.

The Albuquerque Journal reports official said the contracts made public last week are the first stages of the acquisition process, where contractors complete preliminary designs.

The center, located at Kirtland Air Force Base, says the two contracts worth up to $359 million apiece have been awarded to the Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corp. for work on a ground intercontinental ballistic weapon system program.

It will replace the Minuteman III ballistic missile.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein says the Minuteman III is 45 years old and it's time to upgrade.