Boeing has informed the Air Force it will not bid on a contract to develop the nation’s next ICBM, leaving only Northrop Grumman in the running. That won’t do: most of the nation’s relevant expertise resides within Boeing, and the nation’s nuclear deterrent is becoming overly dependent on Northrop. But Boeing says that Northrop’s acquisition of the biggest U.S. maker of large solid rocket engines un-balances the competitive landscape, so there’s no point in bidding. It seems the most viable solution to this impasse is to follow the Navy’s lead and form a best-of-industry team. In other words, a Boeing-Northrop Grumman team. That can keep the new ICBM effort on track and assure that all of the relevant skills are engaged in fostering an optimum outcome. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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