Aerojet Rocketdyne has secured a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to support the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) demonstration and validation post boost programme at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US.
Valued at $3m, the contract requires the company to complete trade studies and hardware demonstrations for the programme aimed at developing new technologies to replace the existing capabilities of the current Minuteman III Propulsion System Rocket Engine (PSRE) in a new future system.
The contract is expected to initiate the development of a critical element of the Minuteman III and future missile systems that helps to position payloads, as well as supporting the potential deployment of countermeasures.
Aerojet Rocketdyne Rocket Shop Defence Advanced Programmes vice-president Tyler Evans said: "Aerojet Rocketdyne's Rocket Shop innovation organisation is proud and honoured to be selected for the critical role of supporting the USAF's nuclear deterrence mission.
"Our post boost technologies are nothing less than world class and we intend to continue servicing the customer with war-winning solutions for many years to come."
Stretching over a period of two years, the study will evaluate a wide range of advanced technology propulsion systems. The selected technologies will be further evaluated with hardware demonstration testing.
Manufactured by Boeing, the ground-based ICBM designed to deliver nuclear warheads represents one component of a nuclear triad that is complemented by the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and by nuclear weapons carried by long-range strategic bomber aircraft.
Having entered operational service with the USAF in 1968, the missiles are currently located in silos at the 90th Missile Wing at Warren AFB in Wyoming, the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB in Montana and the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB in North Dakota, US.