Northrop Grumman has welcomed both Kratos Defense and Security Solutions and Bechtel Corporation into its team bid for the USAF Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) contract. The GBSD program calls for an overhaul of the current ICBM arsenal, with completion slated for 2030.
Despite scrupulous servicing on the part of the USAF, the current suite of 400 Minuteman III ICBMs stationed across the North American continent are not expected to be reliable beyond 2030. In this vein, July of last year saw Air Force officials release a requests for tender for the GBSD; with competition taking place between aerospace giants Northrop Grumman and Boeing.
Contributing to Northrop Grumman's GBSD national team, Bechtel looks to provide support around launch system design and construction. Kratos, conversely, will assist with logistics (mainly missile transporters and payload transportation). Given both of these roles fit neatly within the scope of the engineering and manufacturing development phase, all parties are preparing to commence work immediately should Northrop Grumman be awarded the EMD contract.
The company's GBSD team is made up of hundreds of small, medium and large enterprises and subcontractors – spanning all facets of design, innovation and construction phases. Should the bid prove to be successful, program directors estimate that the project will provide employment to over 10,000 people across the US.
“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 Air Force schedule of fielding GBSD in 2029,” said Greg Manuel, vice president of the GBSD enterprise at Northrop Grumman.
“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.”