Boeing has won a $1.6bn contract to continue providing support for the US Air Force’s (USAF) Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile’s (ICBM) guidance system.

The 18-year contract is a sole-source award.

The company serves as the prime contractor for Minuteman guidance subsystems sustainment.

Most work will be performed at Boeing Guidance Repair Center in Heath, Ohio, US.

This centre is engaged in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of navigation and guidance systems. The site has been selected for its stability and inertial calibration capabilities.

The repair centre enables Boeing to maintain the readiness of guidance and navigation systems for US nuclear-capable platforms.

Boeing Guidance Repair Center site leader Mike Murasky said: “As the original equipment manufacturer of the ICBM guidance system, this contract ensures the continued reliability, safety and accuracy of our nation’s land-based strategic deterrent.

“We appreciate the confidence the airforce has demonstrated in our capability to continue providing them with the highest quality support.”

The Minuteman III long-range, solid-fuel, three-stage ICBM can carry single or multiple nuclear warheads. It is being used by the USAF Combat Command.

The 36,030kg missile has a range of more than 5,218nm and a speed of 24,000km/h at burnout. It is also powered by three solid-fuel rocket engines.

Last month, airmen of US Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) conducted an operational test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM equipped with a test re-entry vehicle.