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HDT Global (HDT) has been contracted by Northrop Grumman to support the US Air Force’s (USAF) Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) programme.

The USAF selected Northrop Grumman to upgrade the nation’s ageing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system under a $13.3bn contract awarded in September last year.

Northrop’s team for the GBSD programme includes HDT and other defence contractors.

HDT will provide the transporter / erector for the new GBSD missile. They are used to emplace and extract the GBSD missile’s boosters.

HDT Global Engineering CTO and SVP Carl Pates said: “We are excited to leverage our engineering and manufacturing expertise in support of this critical piece of our nation’s strategic deterrence strategy.

“Our design and production knowledge gained from our experience with the USAF Minuteman Missile Transporter Erector programme means that we have the expertise to meet the technical challenges of the transporter / erector for GBSD, a vital element in the modernisation of the US nuclear triad.”

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By GlobalData

Northrop is responsible for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the GBSD programme.

According to HDT, the EMD award follows a three-year technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) phase-one effort under the GBSD competition.

According to Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC), this work will continue for eight and a half years.

Activities will involve design, qualification, testing and evaluation and nuclear certification of the weapons system.

Following the conclusion of the EMD phase, Northrop’s team will start manufacturing and delivering an advanced and fully integrated weapon system.

The USAF has plans to achieve initial operational capability (IOC) by 2029.