Kendall: Sentinel on track for IOC but could slip

By Shelley K. Mesch / April 27, 2023 at 1:32 PM

The Sentinel nuclear missile system is still on track to reach initial operational capability by the end of the decade, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told lawmakers Thursday, but that schedule is at risk.

“At this point, as far as I know, we are still holding to the schedule for IOC,” Kendall said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Air Force's fiscal year 2024 budget request. “But my sense of this is that I think it’s going to be a challenge to make that. We have to do everything we can.”

The program is “realizing some risk areas,” Kendall said, for the “very complicated, very large program.”

Kendall also noted the length of time it's been since an intercontinental ballistic missile has been developed as the Minuteman III was fielded during the Cold War.

Air Force Acquisition chief Andrew Hunter and Defense Department Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Bill LaPlante have adjusted the program, Kendall said.