Boeing has completed the system requirements review (SRR) for the US Air Force’s (USAF) ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) weapon system programme.
The SRR allows the programme to move forward in designing and developing the new ICBM system.
The GBSD is being developed to replace the USAF’s existing Minuteman III ICBM, including new flight systems, weapon system command and control (WSC2), and launch systems within existing Minuteman silos.
Boeing Strategic Deterrence Systems director and GBSD programme manager Frank McCall said: “The airforce set clear system design requirements early in the acquisition process.
“Thanks to this straightforward guidance, the Boeing team was able to focus on options that would meet those requirements and provide the capability needed to deter an evolving threat.”
Boeing is developing the preliminary design for the country’s next ICBM, under a $349m technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) contract awarded by the USAF in August.
The ICBM is the new land-based element of America’s nuclear triad, which also includes other elements such as missiles launched from submarines and aircraft.
The Minuteman III replacement effort will include flight, command and control, as well as launch systems, Boeing stated.
Northrop Grumman was also awarded a $328m contract to execute the TMRR phase of the GBSD programme.
In 2020, the airforce will choose either Boeing or Northrop to develop the Minuteman III replacement and award the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the programme to the selected company.