Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

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

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