24 Aug 2017

US Air Force awards contracts for initial ICBM design work

The US Air Force has tasked Boeing and Northrop Grumman with the iteration of preliminary designs for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program – the nation’s next Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have each been awarded risk-reduction contracts within the GBSD program, which will see the Minuteman III ICBM replaced. By 2020, one contractor will be chosen to develop the new land-based aspect of America’s nuclear triad. Missiles launched from submarines and aircraft form the remainder of that triad.

Wes Bush – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Northrop Grumman – had this to say: “We look forward to the opportunity to provide the nation with a modern strategic deterrent system that is secure, resilient and affordable.”

“As a trusted partner and technical integrator for the Air Force’s ICBM systems for more than 60 years, we are proud to continue our work to protect and defend our nation through its strategic deterrent capabilities.”

The Minuteman III replacement effort includes all flight, command and control, and launch systems. The Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of the program will be awarded to a single contractor come 2020.

“Since the first Minuteman launch in 1961, the US Air Force has relied on our technologies for a safe, secure and reliable ICBM force,” added Frank McCall, Director of Strategic Deterrence Systems and GBSD Program Manager at Boeing. “As the Air Force prepares to replace the Minuteman III, we will once again answer the call by drawing on the best of Boeing to deliver the capability, flexibility and affordability the mission requires.”

Boeing’s work will take place in Huntsville, Alabama; Ogden, Utah; Heath, Ohio; and other locations.

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