The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing and Northrop Grumman risk-reduction contracts for preliminary development of the nation’s next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to company news releases.
Boeing received a $349 million contract to develop its preliminary design for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the Air Force’s next ICBM. The GBSD is being developed to replace the Minuteman III ICBM.
“Since the first Minuteman launch in 1961, the U.S. Air Force has relied on our technologies for a safe, secure and reliable ICBM force,” said Frank McCall, Boeing director of Strategic Deterrence Systems and GBSD program manager. “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.”
Northrop Grumman Corporation was also awarded a $328 million contract for the technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) phase of the GBSD program.
“We look forward to the opportunity to provide the nation with a modern strategic deterrent system that is secure, resilient and affordable,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Northrop Grumman. “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 engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the program will be awarded to one of the two competitors in 2020.