U.S. Military’s Next-Gen Nuke Program Clears Baseline Review

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  • 06:14 AM, April 8, 2021
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U.S. Military’s Next-Gen Nuke Program Clears Baseline Review
Unarmed unarmed Minuteman III ICBM launch

Northrop Grumman said today that it conducted the Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program.

The program is on track for Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by 2029.

IBR occurs within the first 180 days of contract award to set cost and schedule baseline, identify and quantify risks, and ensure mitigation plans are in place when executing the program. Early in the review, Northrop Grumman and the Air Force collaborated to develop a common understanding about the project’s baseline as it relates to technical, schedule, cost, resource, and management process risks and their impacts.

Northrop Grumman was awarded a $13.3 billion GBSD engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract in September 2020 to begin modernizing the nation’s aging intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.

The EMD phase includes full system design, qualification, test and evaluation, and nuclear certification. Upon successful completion of EMD, the Northrop Grumman team will begin producing and delivering a modern and fully integrated ICBM system to meet the Air Force’s schedule of initial operational capability by 2029.

U.S. Military’s Next-Gen Nuke Program Clears Baseline Review

The company is leading a nationwide team that includes Aerojet Rocketdyne, Bechtel, Clark, Collins Aerospace, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, L3 Harris, Lockheed Martin, Textron Systems, and others.

Using the W87 mod 1 thermonuclear warhead, 660 GBSDs will replace the LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBMs starting in the late 2020s.

Bloomberg reported in October the decades-long effort could cost as much as $264 billion, including operating and supporting the weapons in their silos. That doesn’t include warhead development valued at nearly $15 billion.

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