The US Missile Defense Agency has awarded a competitive development and sustainment contract to Boeing for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) programme.

Aimed to defend the US against long-range ballistic missile threats, operational interceptors have been deployed by the Huntsville-based GMD programme at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and at Fort Greely, Alaska.

The GMD consists of radars, sensors, command-and-control facilities and communications terminals as part of the global ballistic missile defense system.

A 20,000 mile fibre optic communications network, one of the most complex systems ever developed and fielded, is also part of the GMD programme.