The program is a cooperative effort between the Air Force and the Navy that will share common-use technologies and take advantage of the Navy progress on its Trident II D5 nuclear armed submarine launched missile.
By 2029, America Will Have a New ICBM That Can Launch a Nuclear War
The Pentagon will have new, upgraded nuclear-armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles operational by 2029, launching a new era in nuclear weapons technology -- to include improved targeting, guidance technology and overall resilience against enemy attacks and attempted intercepts.
The Air Force plans to fire off new prototype ICBMs in the early 2020s, assessing new ICBMs with improved range, durability, targeting technology and overall lethality when compared to the existing arsenal. The new arsenal of ICBMs will serve well into the 2070s – called Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD. The service has at times been discussing the progress of the program, but is now specifying when the new weapons will be ready.
The goal of the program is both clear and self-evident, as described in an Air Force report by Maj. Gen. Shaun Morris, Strategic Systems Program Executive Officer. In the service's official 2018 Annual Acquisition Report, Morris described the purpose of the program as “ensuring our strategic deterrent is never doubted and always feared.” "Fear," in fact, forms the basis of strategic deterrence - as knowledge of assured retaliatory destruction keeps potential enemies from contemplating a first strike. For this reason, Morris' reasoning does, the threat of nuclear attack must be modern, effective and sustainable.