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Deborah Lee James: More Assessment Needed Before DoD’s Final Cost Estimate for Nuclear Modernization

Deborah Lee James
Deborah Lee James

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James believes the Defense Department needs more room for evaluation before it can finalize the cost estimate on the effort to modernize the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile arsenal, National Defense Magazine reported Wednesday.

John Harper writes DoD’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Office estimated the cost of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent program to reach more than $85 billion in the coming years, or $23 billion more than the U.S. Air Force’s own estimate.

James told reporters at the Pentagon that DoD and the Air Force used different methods, assumptions and data for the cost estimates.

“The data that everybody is using to try to build up these cost estimates is somewhat dated simply because we haven’t done it in so long,” she added.

The Air Force issued the request for proposals on the GBSD program in July.

The report said Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman have submitted proposals for the program.

“[As] we get the proposals back from industry, this will inform what I believe will be refinements in that cost estimate over time as we learn more,” James said, according to the report.

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