Northrop Grumman and Boeing Have Plans to Turbocharge America’s Nuclear ICBMs

    Kris Osborn

    Security,

    Northrop Grumman and Boeing teams were recently awarded Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction deals from the Air Force as part of a longer-term developmental trajectory aimed at developing new ICBMs.

    The new ICBMs will be deployed roughly within the same geographical expanse in which the current weapons are stationed. In total, dispersed areas across three different sites span 33,600 miles, including missiles in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Minot, North Dakota and Great Falls, Montana. The Air Force plans to award the single EMD contract in late fiscal year 2020.

    The Air Force plans to fire off new prototype ICBMs in the early 2020s as part of a long-range plan to engineer and deploy next-generation, high-tech intercontinental ballistic missiles with improved range, durability, targeting technology and overall lethality, service officials said.

    The service is already making initial technological progress on design work and “systems engineering” for a new arsenal of ICBMs to serve well into the 2070s – called Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD.

    Northrop Grumman and Boeing teams were recently awarded Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction deals from the Air Force as part of a longer-term developmental trajectory aimed at developing, testing, firing and ultimately deploying new ICBMs.

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    Overall, the Air Force plans to build as many as 400 new GBSD weapons to modernize the arsenal and replace the 1970s-era Boeing-built Minuteman IIIs.

    The new weapons will be engineered with improved guidance technology, boosters, flight systems and command and control systems, compared to the existing Minuteman III missiles. The weapon will also have upgraded circuitry and be built with a mind to long-term maintenance and sustainability, developers said.

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