In the Hive

Utah’s role in the pending $83 billion overhaul of America’s land-based nuclear missiles


Today on “In the Hive,” we’re discussing the role that Utah’s Hill Air Force Base is set to play in the overhaul of America’s intercontinental ballistic missiles – or ICBMs. The Minuteman III nuclear missiles located in silos in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota are part of a nearly 60-year-old U.S. missile infrastructure. Recently the U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $13.3 billion contract to modernize that crumbling infrastructure by developing the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) – a next generation ICBM to replace the Minuteman III. The replacement of the 400 aging missiles would cost $83 billion dollars and take until the mid 2030s. Hill Air Force Base, outside of Ogden, is slated to play host to a new Mission Integration Facility that will serve as a headquarters for the GBSD program.

But some observers, among them former U.S. Defense Secretary William J. Perry, have been lobbying the Biden Administration to put a hold on the program, saying the development of a new nuclear missile will jumpstart a new arms race with China and Russia, and arguing that the land-based leg of America’s “nuclear triad” is obsolete in the 21st century.


Col. Jason Bartolomei, director of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Systems Directorate with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill Air Force Base

Eric Schlosser, journalist and author of the book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

In the Hive
From local politics, to arts and culture, to history, the environment and beyond, “In the Hive” explores the issues and ideas that tie Utah together. Produced by KCPW Studios
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