Northrop Grumman has concluded its fourth and final major design review with the US Air Force (USAF) of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) programme, under the technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) phase.

As part of the preliminary design review (PDR), the entire weapon system will undergo a technical assessment to conclude the three-year TMRR effort.

Following this, the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the GBSD programme, will be performed.

Northrop Grumman GBSD enterprise vice-president Greg Manuel said: “Successfully completing another key milestone on time demonstrates the continued hard work and innovation from our industry team to ensure we are meeting our commitments to develop, test and validate the best GBSD design solution for the airforce.

“We have assembled a talented nationwide team to execute on this extremely important programme. If awarded the EMD contract, we are ready to deliver a safe, secure, reliable and effective nuclear deterrent capability, on schedule and on budget, to keep our nation and allies safe.”

Under the TMRR contract, the company has completed all its major design reviews on-time.

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Additionally, these milestones include the system requirements review, system functional review, and software specification review.

GBSD is a USAF programme to upgrade the country’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system.

Once completed, the PDR validated Northrop Grumman’s GBSD preliminary design to enter the EMD phase.

The tests have reduced technical risk through prototypes, validated schedule and cost estimates, evaluated manufacturing processes and refined requirements.

The Northrop Grumman GBSD team includes hundreds of small, medium and large companies from across multiple domains.

In March this year, The capability was showcased to an unidentified government customer at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, US.