Costs of some big projects.

Artist rendering of a B-21 Raider concept in a hangar at Whiteman, Air Force Base, Missouri, one of the future bases to host the new airframe. (Courtesy photo by Northrop Grumman) (also courtesy of U.S. Air Force). Cost $550M each.

For a few indicators of the cost for some big projects and thus some reference points for big numbers, take a look at the Nuclear Notebook – United States nuclear forces, 2020, published by The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

Some projects with their specific costs mentioned in the article:

  • $100B – develop and purchase 666 new generation ICBMs to replace the Minuteman-III; currently called the Ground-Based Strategic Deterent (GBSD) with a snazzier name to be determined later, maybe in 2020.
  • $150M – cost to buy one GBSD missile plus allocated share of development costs
  • $103B – develop and purchase 12 new Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines to replace 14 Ohio-class boomers
  • $8.1B to $8.6B – cost to buy one Columbia-class boomer plus allocated share of development costs
  • $10B – develop and purchase 480 B61-12 nuclear gravity bombs to replace all the current gravity bombs; the B61-12 will be guided and provide stand-off capability
  • $21M – cost of one B61-12 stand-off guided gravity bomb plus allocated share of development costs
  • $96B – develop and purchase 175 B-21 ‘Raider’ bombers to replace the B-1 and B-2 with first flight in 2021
  • $550M – cost of one B-21 Raider bomber plus allocated share of development costs

A recap from large to small systems:

  • $103B – 12 Columbia-class ballistic missile subs
  • $100B – 666 Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) ICBMs
  • $96B – 175 B-21 ‘Raider’ strategic bombers
  • $10B – 480 B61-12 nuclear gravity bombs

Unit costs:

  • $8.1B to $8.6B – 1 Columbia-class SSBN
  • $550M – 1 B-21 Raider bomber
  • $150M – 1 GBSD ICBM
  • $21M – 1 B61-12 gravity bomb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.