Northrop Grumman has expanded its Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) nationwide team with the addition of Bechtel and Kratos Defense and Security Solutions.

GBSD programme has been designed to modernise the US Air Force’s (USAF) inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) capability.

The programme seeks to develop an integrated weapon system to replace existing LGM-30 Minuteman III ICBM fleet. Deployment is expected to commence in the late 2020s.

As part of the team, Bechtel will be responsible for the design, construction and integration of the strategic system.

Work-related to other vehicular transporters, including the missile transporters and payload transporter will be managed by Kratos.

According to Northrop Grumman, the nationwide team will be ready to develop and deliver the ICBM capability if it is awarded the GBSD engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase.

Northrop Grumman GBSD enterprise vice-president Greg Manuel said: “We are on a path toward day-one readiness, bolstered by the addition of Bechtel and Kratos, and our team’s commitment to invest now in people and facilities in order to meet the airforce schedule of fielding GBSD in 2029.

“Together, this expanded team has the capacity, capability and credentials needed to deliver, on time, a safe, secure, reliable and effective nuclear deterrent capability for the US and its allies for the next 50 years.”

The GBSD team was announced in September last year and since then multiple small, medium and large companies from across the defence, construction and engineering industries are part of it.

In August last year, Northrop Grumman broke ground on a new facility in support of GBSD ICBM in Utah, US. The upcoming facility will be the headquarters for the GBSD team.