The global defence contractor has been selected to bolster the United States’ defences against intermediate and long-range missile attacks.
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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded a contract worth up to US$3.2 billion (AU$4.5 billion) to Northrop Grumman for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Weapon System (GWS) program.
The GWS program aims to develop capability designed to strengthen the United States’ defences against intermediate and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) attacks.
Northrop Grumman’s role will be to provide design, development, verification, deployment and sustainment support of new capabilities under the GWS program.
GWS is expected to leverage a DevSecOps approach, drawing from proven digital transformation processes to update and modernise legacy code, warfighter capabilities, and incorporate the next generation interceptor fleet into the overall GMD system.
“As the GWS prime contractor, we will continue to work closely with MDA to optimise and develop modern missile defence systems to defend against evolving threats and provide advanced capabilities for the warfighter,” Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, launch and missile defence systems, Northrop Grumman, said.
“GWS is part of Northrop Grumman’s land and sea-based missile defence systems that are enabled by our advanced missile warning and tracking space satellites.
“Together, we are delivering end-to-end capabilities that will protect the United States and its allies.”
Northrop Grumman’s work in support of the GWS program team is expected to primarily be undertaken from Huntsville, Alabama, alongside local SMEs.
The award of the missile defence contract follows Northrop Grumman’s third successful flight test of its prototype missile development series, which involved testing the capabilities of its internally funded air-launched missile.
The multi-domain capability — tested at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California — reportedly identified and discriminated integrated air defence systems, tracking intended targets during captive flight manoeuvres from Northrop Grumman’s test aircraft.
The capability is designed to target enemy air defence systems, helping to secure the mobility of deployed forces.
The design forms part of the company’s existing work under the US Navy’s AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) system, which includes engineering, manufacturing and development, low-rate initial production and integration work for F-35 aircraft.