Northrop submits proposal for USAF's ICBM programme


Northrop Grumman has submitted a proposal for the modernisation of the US Air Force's (USAF) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.

The company intends to replace the existing ICBM with a new ground based strategic deterrent (GBSD).

The GBSD will replace the existing ICBM missile system, including the weapon systems command and control; flight, launch and ground systems; and cyber elements, Northrop said in a statement.

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems GBSD vice-president and capture manager Carol Erikson said: “The ICBM system has been an effective deterrent since its inception.

“Northrop Grumman has submitted a proposal leveraging our comprehensive ICBM weapons system understanding to deliver a low-risk, adaptable solution within cost and schedule.”

The company has been the systems integrator on every ICBM weapon system in the US.

The USAF had issued a request for proposals for its ICBM programme in July this year.

The ageing LGM-30 Minuteman III ICBM systems were fielded in the late 1990s and early 2000s with an intended 20-year lifespan.

"Northrop Grumman has submitted a proposal leveraging our comprehensive ICBM weapons system understanding to deliver a low-risk, adaptable solution within cost and schedule."

The air force intends to develop and deliver an integrated weapon system, including launch and command and control segments.

The new GBSD weapon system will meet existing national requirements, while having the adaptability and flexibility to affordably address changing technology and threat environments through 2075, the USAF said in a statement.

Deployment of the new system is expected to begin in the late 2020s.


Image: The LGM-30 Minuteman III missile soars in the air after a test launch. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo.