The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is a US land-based intercontinental ballistic missile system in the early stages of development, slated to replace all 450 Minuteman III missiles in service with the United States Air Force from 2027 onward.
Textron Systems announced on Sept. 29 it has been awarded a contract to support work on the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) missile system. This scope of work is part of a larger award by the U.S. Air Force to prime contractor Northrop Grumman. The GBSD system is designed to provide a modern, reliable and safe nuclear deterrent capability for the Air Force.
“For over fifty years, Textron Systems has been developing and producing some of the most sophisticated technologies used by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to help protect our nation and its allies,” said Wayne Prender, Senior Vice President, “We are proud to support our partner Northrop Grumman, as the GBSD team provides a strong and reliable nuclear deterrent for the next fifty years and beyond.”
Textron Systems will provide the company’s advanced reentry system technology to the GBSD program, with a notable history extending back to the Peacekeeper missile program. The company brings over 50 years’ experience in strategic systems technologies to ensure the safety and reliability of the system for years to come.
The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is a US land-based intercontinental ballistic missile system in the early stages of development, slated to replace all 450 Minuteman III missiles in service with the U.S. Air Force from 2027 onward. In December 2019, it was announced that Northrop Grumman won the competition to build the future ICBM. Northrop won by default, as their bid was the only bid left to be considered for the GBSD program. The Air Force said that they will “proceed with an aggressive and effective sole-source negotiation” in reference to Northrop’s bid. On 8 September 2020, the Department of the Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $13.3 billion contract to develop the GBSD intercontinental ballistic missile.
In March 2019 the W87 mod 1 thermonuclear warhead was selected for GBSD, replacing the W78 warhead currently used in Minuteman III. It is unclear if the W78 will be fitted to GBSD or if some other arrangement such as moving W87-0s to GBSD first will be made, but the estimated first production unit date was moved to 2030, a delay from the initial estimated entry into service date of 2027.