The U.S. Air Force has selected Northrop Grumman to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system under a $13.3 billion contract awarded today for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program.
The GBSD ICBM is the follow-on to the aging LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM and first became operational in 1970. The GBSD ICBM will have increased accuracy, enhanced security and improved reliability to provide the U.S. with an upgraded and broader array of strategic nuclear options to address the threats of today and the future, U.S.A.F. said in a release.
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center announced that the effort will span 8.5 years and include weapon system design, qualification, test and evaluation and nuclear certification. Upon successful completion of EMD, the Northrop Grumman team will begin producing and delivering a modern and fully integrated weapon system to meet the Air Force schedule of initial operational capability by 2029.
The EMD award follows a successful three-year technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) phase-one effort under the GBSD competition. The Northrop Grumman team has demonstrated innovation and agility by applying a digital engineering approach and has achieved all TMRR design review milestones on time and on cost.
The Northrop Grumman GBSD team includes Aerojet Rocketdyne, Bechtel, Clark Construction, Collins Aerospace, General Dynamics, HDT Global, Honeywell, Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, Textron Systems, as well as hundreds of small and medium-sized companies from across the defense, engineering and construction industries.