Northrop Grumman has been selected to continue as ground subsystems support contractor (GSSC) of the US Air Force’s (USAF) Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

This five-year base contract is valued at $306m and has a cumulative face value of $3.86bn for 18 years.

Since 2015, Northrop Grumman has been serving as a prime contractor on GSSC.

The company will now continue to provide engineering and field services to sustain strategic ballistic missile system Minuteman III until the end of its service life.

Northrop will manage the contracted work at its Utah, US, facility while the work will be executed at several locations of the company.

Northrop Grumman strategic deterrent systems division sector vice-president and general manager Greg Manuel said: “Northrop Grumman brings proven performance, a highly skilled team of experts, and a continued commitment to ensuring Minuteman III weapon system operational readiness for the US Air Force.

“Our team is using the latest in digital engineering and innovation to keep today’s system reliable, safe and secure while positioning the airforce for a smooth transition to the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) system over the next couple decades.”

Last month, the USAF awarded Northrop Grumman a $287m Propulsion Subsystem Support Contract (PSSC) 2.0 contract for the Minuteman III missile system.

The Minuteman III long-range, solid-fuel, three-stage ICBM can carry single or multiple nuclear warheads. It is being used by the US Air Force Combat Command.

The missile weighs 36,030kg, has a range of more than 5,218nm and a speed of 24,000km/h at burnout.

In September last year, the USAF awarded Northrop Grumman a $13.3bn nuclear missile contract to modernise the ICBM system, marking the next phase of the GBSD programme.