A plan to modernize the nation's ground-based leg of the nuclear triad is expected to bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the Cheyenne area.

Officials from Lockheed Martin, one of the country's top three military contractors vying for the roughly $60 billion, decades-long Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) project, were in Cheyenne Tuesday to get started working with the local community.

"When you upgrade 150 launch silos and 15 launch control facilities it's going to take a village," said John Karas, Vice President of Lockheed Martin's GBSD Program. "We're looking for partners and opportunities for local contractors here."

"Hopefully we'll be one of the awardees, but if you think about the time it takes to design the facility and work through the communities to make sure that we have the right resources here to upgrade facilities that could take awhile," added Karas. "So if you don't get started now you could be pretty flat once you get awarded in about nine months from now."

GBSD will replace the Air Force's fleet of 1960s-era Minuteman III missiles and modernize its command-and-control systems.

"The government's been very clear it's all about affordability," said Bill Hughes, Business Development Lead for Lockheed Martin. "From our perspective, the way you do that is you work with the local communities that support the bases to make sure that you're leveraging all the local resources that you possibly can."

Karas says it's hard to tell how much money the Cheyenne area will see from the GBSD project, but it will have a huge impact on the local economy.

"If you're going to spend several billion dollars upgrading the wings it's going to be in the range of several hundred million to a billion in the local area," said Karas.

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