Northrop Grumman successfully completed its fourth and final major design review with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) under the technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) phase of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program.
The preliminary design review (PDR) is a technical assessment of the entire weapon system approach that is required to conclude the three-year TMRR effort, and inform the next phase of the GBSD program, the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase.
GBSD is a vital USAF program to replace the service’s aging LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) which first became operational in the early 1970s. The program represents the modernization of the ground-based leg of the U.S. nuclear triad.
“Successfully completing another key milestone on time demonstrates the continued hard work and innovation from our industry team to ensure we are meeting our commitments to develop, test and validate the best GBSD design solution for the Air Force,” said Greg Manuel, vice president, GBSD enterprise, Northrop Grumman. “We have assembled a talented nationwide team to execute on this extremely important program. If awarded the EMD contract, we are ready to deliver a safe, secure, reliable and effective nuclear deterrent capability – on schedule and on budget – to keep our nation and allies safe.”
On Aug. 21, 2017, Northrop Grumman was one of two companies awarded a Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) contract for the new GBSD weapon system program. The Air Force released a request for proposals for the next phase of the program in July 2019. The other TMRR contract awardee, Boeing, has left the program leaving only Northrop Grumman as a bidder and the eventual winner of the GBSD contract.
Northrop Grumman has successfully completed, on-time, every major design review under the TMRR contract. In addition to PDR, these milestones include the system requirements review, system functional review, and software specification review.
PDR completion validated that Northrop Grumman’s GBSD preliminary design is ready to enter the EMD phase having reduced technical risk through prototypes, validated schedule and cost estimates, evaluated manufacturing processes and refined requirements.
The Northrop Grumman GBSD nationwide team is comprised of hundreds of small, medium and large companies from across the defense, construction and engineering industries. This team has the capacity, capability and credentials needed to deliver on this national security priority.