Northrop Grumman has been awarded a US$13.3 billion contract by the US Air Force, to modernise the country’s ageing ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems.
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.
Kathy Warden, chairman, chief executive and president of Northrop Grumman, said, “Our nation is facing a rapidly evolving threat environment and protecting our citizens with a modern strategic deterrent capability has never been more critical.
The EMD award follows a highly successful three-year technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) phase-one effort under the GBSD competition.
Work on the program will be performed at the Northrop Grumman GBSD facilities in Roy and Promontory, Utah, as well as other key Northrop Grumman sites across the US that include Huntsville and Montgomery, Alabama; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Bellevue, Nebraska; San Diego and Woodland Hills, California; Chandler, Arizona; Annapolis Junction, Maryland; and at its nationwide team locations across the country.
The USAF’s GBSD is the weapon system replacement for the ageing LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system (ICBM). GBSD represents the modernisation of the ground-based leg of the nuclear triad.
The Minuteman III first became operational in the early 1970s.
The Air Force is focused on developing and delivering an integrated weapon system that will meet the combatant commander’s current requirements, while having the adaptability to affordably address changing technology and emerging threats through 2075.
Overall, the GBSD program will involve over 10,000 people across the US directly working on this vital national security program.