Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to modernize the United States’ aging intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system. The company has been awarded a contract worth $13.3 billion to undertake the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the program, known as Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD).
The new award follows a successful three-year technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) phase that was performed under the GBSD competition. The Northrop Grumman team demonstrated innovation and agility by applying a digital engineering approach and achieved all TMRR design review milestones on time and on budget.
According to the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, this EMD phase will span 8.5 years and include weapon system design, qualification, test and evaluation and nuclear certification. Upon successful completion, the Northrop Grumman team will begin producing and delivering a modern and fully integrated weapon system, aiming to meet the Air Force schedule of initial operational capability by 2029.
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 and partner sites across the U.S. The 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. Overall, the GBSD program will involve over 10,000 people across the U.S.
Kathy Warden, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman, commented: “Our nation is facing a rapidly evolving threat environment and protecting our citizens with a modern strategic deterrent capability has never been more critical. With more than 65 years of technical leadership on every ICBM system, our nationwide team is honored and committed to continuing our partnership with the U.S. Air Force to deliver a safe, secure and effective system that will contribute to global stability for years to come.”