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"All Options on the Table to Cover $35 Billion Gap on Sentinel ICBM"

  • 14 Feb 2024 05:22
    Message # 13315244


    Feb. 13, 2024 | By John A. Tirpak

    AURORA, Colo.—The Air Force isn’t sure yet how it will fill the $35 billion gap between what the Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile was supposed to cost and the recently revised estimate, but no approach is yet being ruled out, senior service leaders told reporters at the AFA Warfare Symposium.

    “I can’t take anything off the table right now,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said of how to fund the overrun on Sentinel, which came to light in January when the Air Force notified Congress of a Nunn-McCurdy breach on the program. Under the Nunn-McCurdy Act, the Pentagon must lawmakers if a program incurs a cost or schedule overrun of more than 15 percent—Sentinel experienced both.

    Kendall said he thinks the Air Force has a good handle on the amount of the overrun—37 percent over the $96 billion baseline cost of the program—and that the delay is likely to be about two years.


    The Pentagon is conducting an assessment of the Sentinel program to nail down the root causes of the overages, as required by law.    


    Kendall, having performed work for Sentinel prime contractor Northrop Grumman, is recused from making programmatic decisions about Northrop programs like Sentinel or B-21. Those decisions will fall to the undersecretary or Hunter, but Kendall will still be in charge of deciding where to find budget offsets.

    Last modified: 14 Feb 2024 12:19 | Anonymous member

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