Author Topic: USAF Awards Preliminary Design Work for New Intercontinental Ballistic Missile  (Read 4008 times)

Offline russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3650
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 416
USAF has awarded the Preliminary Design downselect to two corporations instead of three:

Boeing Awarded Design Work for New Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

U.S. Air Force seeking replacement for Minuteman III ICBM Boeing, Air Force partnership on ICBM force began in 1958

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 21, 2017 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] will develop its preliminary design for America’s next intercontinental ballistic missile through a $349 million U.S. Air Force contract announced today.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman each received risk-reduction contracts for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, which will replace the Minuteman III ICBM. In 2020, the Air Force will choose one company to develop the new land-based element of America’s nuclear triad. Missiles launched from submarines and aircraft are the other elements of the triad.

“Since the first Minuteman launch in 1961, the U.S. Air Force has relied on our technologies for a safe, secure and reliable ICBM force,” said Frank McCall, Boeing director of Strategic Deterrence Systems and GBSD program manager. “As the Air Force prepares to replace the Minuteman III, we will once again answer the call by drawing on the best of Boeing to deliver the capability, flexibility and affordability the mission requires.”

Boeing’s work will be done in Huntsville, Ala.; Ogden, Utah; Heath, Ohio; and other locations.

The Minuteman III replacement effort will include flight, command and control, and launch systems. The Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of the program will be awarded to one company in 2020.

For more information on Defense, Space & Security, visit www.boeing.com. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

# # #

Contact:

Queena Jones
Space and Missile Systems
Office: +1 256-937-4054
Mobile: +1 256-698-5783
queena.l.jones@boeing.com

Maribeth Davis
Space and Missile Systems
Office: +1 703-414-6475
Mobile: +1 703-209-9984
maribeth.b.davis@boeing.com

Jerry Drelling
External Communications
Defense, Space & Security
Office: +1 703-872-4255
Mobile: +1 714-318-7594
jerry.a.drelling@boeing.com

Caption: Boeing will develop its preliminary design for America’s next intercontinental ballistic missile through a $349 million U.S. Air Force contract announced today. Boeing and one other company each received risk-reduction contracts for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, which will replace the Minuteman III ICBM. (Boeing photo)


-------------------


GBSD (Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent)   August 21, 2017

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Aug. 21, 2017 – The U.S. Air Force has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) as one of two companies to mature designs for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, the nation’s next Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system.

The company was awarded a $328 million contract to execute the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase of the GBSD program.

“We look forward to the opportunity to provide the nation with a modern strategic deterrent system that is secure, resilient and affordable,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Northrop Grumman. “As a trusted partner and technical integrator for the Air Force’s ICBM systems for more than 60 years, we are proud to continue our work to protect and defend our nation through its strategic deterrent capabilities.”

To learn more about Northrop Grumman’s GBSD program visit: www.northropgrumman.com/gbsd.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit news.northropgrumman.com and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.

« Last Edit: 08/23/2017 12:21 AM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Mike Jones

  • Member
  • Posts: 53
  • Latvia
  • Liked: 15
  • Likes Given: 1
Which major subcontractors will support Boeing and Northrop  ?
For propulsion, with whom Orbital ATK and Aerojet-Rocketdyne will partner respectively?

Online gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1639
  • US
  • Liked: 1080
  • Likes Given: 859
Which major subcontractors will support Boeing and Northrop  ?
For propulsion, with whom Orbital ATK and Aerojet-Rocketdyne will partner respectively?

The Air Force doesn't want the primes pairing up with the propulsion vendors yet.

Online butters

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1648
  • Liked: 270
  • Likes Given: 60
I know there have been several rounds of modernizations on the Minuteman III, for amongst other reasons to replace obsolete hardware which cannot be readily obtained anymore. What new features would justify a new land-based ICBM?

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7740
  • UK
  • Liked: 1235
  • Likes Given: 168
I know there have been several rounds of modernizations on the Minuteman III, for amongst other reasons to replace obsolete hardware which cannot be readily obtained anymore. What new features would justify a new land-based ICBM?

The fact that the Minuteman III is exceptionally long in the tooth, even with all its upgrades it's still basically a 50/60s design. The Airforce have been quite clear they need a missile to last into the 2070s, the Minuteman cannot achieve that.

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 739
  • Liked: 176
  • Likes Given: 152
I know there have been several rounds of modernizations on the Minuteman III, for amongst other reasons to replace obsolete hardware which cannot be readily obtained anymore. What new features would justify a new land-based ICBM?
I'm guessing they are looking at ways to get past potential ABM systems that could emerge in the next few decades.  Since they probably won't have to worry about boost phase, they will have to figure out what can be done  to make he missile survivable during mid-course and terminal phase.  They have to consider kinetic kill vehicles and beam weapons to get by.  So like any other system the choices are usually stealth, electronic warfare, armor, and maneuverability.  It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Offline russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3650
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 416
Which major subcontractors will support Boeing and Northrop  ?
For propulsion, with whom Orbital ATK and Aerojet-Rocketdyne will partner respectively?

The Air Force doesn't want the primes pairing up with the propulsion vendors yet.
Minuteman-IV is a separate upgrade programme to LGM-30H version with a new first stage and modernized GSE and Avionics. The new ICBM's Name and designation would become announced once the Critical Design contract is awarded.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2017 05:35 AM by russianhalo117 »

Online kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8476
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1015
  • Likes Given: 232
They have to consider kinetic kill vehicles and beam weapons to get by.  So like any other system the choices are usually stealth, electronic warfare, armor, and maneuverability.  It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Kinda hard to do stealth during reentry with the plasma sheath of hot gasses that will envelope the reentry vehicle. Think it's going to have to rely more on maneuverability and countermeasures.

Being a clean sheet and ground based, hopefully they will include the mass margins needed for countermeasures.
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7740
  • UK
  • Liked: 1235
  • Likes Given: 168
They have to consider kinetic kill vehicles and beam weapons to get by.  So like any other system the choices are usually stealth, electronic warfare, armor, and maneuverability.  It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Kinda hard to do stealth during reentry with the plasma sheath of hot gasses that will envelope the reentry vehicle. Think it's going to have to rely more on maneuverability and countermeasures.

Being a clean sheet and ground based, hopefully they will include the mass margins needed for countermeasures.

It's weird how any modern ICBMs with countermeasures are described as having stealth features, I remember reading an article on a fairly decent site about one of the latest Russian ICBMs and that was stated as incorporating stealth features.

Offline russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3650
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 416
I know there have been several rounds of modernizations on the Minuteman III, for amongst other reasons to replace obsolete hardware which cannot be readily obtained anymore. What new features would justify a new land-based ICBM?

The fact that the Minuteman III is exceptionally long in the tooth, even with all its upgrades it's still basically a 50/60s design. The Airforce have been quite clear they need a missile to last into the 2070s, the Minuteman cannot achieve that.
The new ICBM must be cold start capable and fit inside existing silos. It must also be capable of using horizontal store and launch methods developed for MX Peacekeeper. While not initially planned operationally, the new ICBM must also be designed for Air (C-5M) and Mobile (road and rail) launch to replace existing and retired launch methods. These will be tested. Surface Ship launch method is not part of the PD requirements.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2017 04:50 PM by russianhalo117 »

Online RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2066
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 962
  • Likes Given: 738
They have to consider kinetic kill vehicles and beam weapons to get by.  So like any other system the choices are usually stealth, electronic warfare, armor, and maneuverability.  It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Kinda hard to do stealth during reentry with the plasma sheath of hot gasses that will envelope the reentry vehicle. Think it's going to have to rely more on maneuverability and countermeasures.

Being a clean sheet and ground based, hopefully they will include the mass margins needed for countermeasures.

It's weird how any modern ICBMs with countermeasures are described as having stealth features, I remember reading an article on a fairly decent site about one of the latest Russian ICBMs and that was stated as incorporating stealth features.

Radar stealth can be useful before reentry. It can prevent midcourse intercept. Once the warhead is in reentry it would be easy to spot, but there's only a couple of minutes for terminal intercept.

Offline deruch

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1419
  • California
  • Liked: 1096
  • Likes Given: 1463
Radar stealth can be useful before reentry. It can prevent midcourse intercept. Once the warhead is in reentry it would be easy to spot, but there's only a couple of minutes for terminal intercept.
Terminal intercept from ICBM speeds is really difficult.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2148
  • Canada
  • Liked: 270
  • Likes Given: 417
Radar stealth can be useful before reentry. It can prevent midcourse intercept. Once the warhead is in reentry it would be easy to spot, but there's only a couple of minutes for terminal intercept.
Terminal intercept from ICBM speeds is really difficult.

Only if you are thinking of conventional interceptor warheads.

Always thought that the Midgetman ICBM is also capable as Anti-Ballistic missile.

Online edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12559
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3355
  • Likes Given: 559
Radar stealth can be useful before reentry. It can prevent midcourse intercept. Once the warhead is in reentry it would be easy to spot, but there's only a couple of minutes for terminal intercept.
Terminal intercept from ICBM speeds is really difficult.

Only if you are thinking of conventional interceptor warheads.

Always thought that the Midgetman ICBM is also capable as Anti-Ballistic missile.
Since Minuteman III was designed to carry MIRVs and now by treaty only carries single warheads, perhaps Midgetman's time has come.

Pegasus is a sort of Midgetman derivative in part, and Pegasus propulsion served as the starting point for OBV, used for today's GBI.  Full circle!

 - Ed Kyle

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 982
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Liked: 191
  • Likes Given: 558
Radar stealth can be useful before reentry. It can prevent midcourse intercept. Once the warhead is in reentry it would be easy to spot, but there's only a couple of minutes for terminal intercept.
Terminal intercept from ICBM speeds is really difficult.

Only if you are thinking of conventional interceptor warheads.

Always thought that the Midgetman ICBM is also capable as Anti-Ballistic missile.
Since Minuteman III was designed to carry MIRVs and now by treaty only carries single warheads, perhaps Midgetman's time has come.

Pegasus is a sort of Midgetman derivative in part, and Pegasus propulsion served as the starting point for OBV, used for today's GBI.  Full circle!

 - Ed Kyle
Advance apologies if these questions veer OT.  (If it gets too political, then it would be better thread-splintered to Space Policy Discussion.)

Point of international law: Are land-based MIRVed missiles still banned by treaty?

I see that Russia has deployed MIRVed land-based ICBMs since they withdrew from the START II treaty.

Would the US be within its current treaty obligations if it returned to a land-based MIRV ICBM?  (This could very well be politically improbable, but legally and technically possible?)

Would the old argument for/against MIRV offensive missiles (and against/for large scale ABM systems) still apply--that they would overwhelm any "realistic" ABM system in a full-scale nuclear assault?

Technology has vastly improved since the end decades of the Cold War.  And, we have other potential nuclear-ICBM-armed adversaries than just Russia.  :(

EDIT: (I see RH117 has partially answered my question below.)
« Last Edit: 08/25/2017 10:44 PM by zubenelgenubi »
Support your local planetarium!

Offline russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3650
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 416
Radar stealth can be useful before reentry. It can prevent midcourse intercept. Once the warhead is in reentry it would be easy to spot, but there's only a couple of minutes for terminal intercept.
Terminal intercept from ICBM speeds is really difficult.

Only if you are thinking of conventional interceptor warheads.

Always thought that the Midgetman ICBM is also capable as Anti-Ballistic missile.
Since Minuteman III was designed to carry MIRVs and now by treaty only carries single warheads, perhaps Midgetman's time has come.

Pegasus is a sort of Midgetman derivative in part, and Pegasus propulsion served as the starting point for OBV, used for today's GBI.  Full circle!

 - Ed Kyle
Payload requirements are based off of Peacekeeper MIRV load in addition to being able to fly warheads of conventional, EKV and new design. To be capable of flying warheads for both strategic and tactical strike missions.

Offline russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3650
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 416
Radar stealth can be useful before reentry. It can prevent midcourse intercept. Once the warhead is in reentry it would be easy to spot, but there's only a couple of minutes for terminal intercept.
Terminal intercept from ICBM speeds is really difficult.

Only if you are thinking of conventional interceptor warheads.

Always thought that the Midgetman ICBM is also capable as Anti-Ballistic missile.
Since Minuteman III was designed to carry MIRVs and now by treaty only carries single warheads, perhaps Midgetman's time has come.

Pegasus is a sort of Midgetman derivative in part, and Pegasus propulsion served as the starting point for OBV, used for today's GBI.  Full circle!

 - Ed Kyle
Advance apologies if these questions veer OT.  (If it gets too political, then it would be better thread-splintered to *.)

Point of international law: Are land-based MIRVed missiles still banned by treaty?

I see that Russia has deployed MIRVed land-based ICBMs since they withdrew from the START II treaty.

Would the US be within its current treaty obligations if it returned to a land-based MIRV ICBM?  (This could very well be politically improbable, but legally and technically possible?)

Would the old argument for/against MIRV offensive missiles (and against/for large scale ABM systems) still apply--that they would overwhelm any "realistic" ABM system in a full-scale nuclear assault?

Technology has vastly improved since the end decades of the Cold War.  And, we have other potential nuclear-ICBM-armed adversaries than just Russia.  :(
No because the major 3 countries have either never signed or have withdrawn from all treaties prohibiting the use of MIRV's hence why the new ICBM system is being developed which was prohibited under ABM and START-II treaties. Currently MM-III flies with 10 of its 11 MIRV slots occupied. MM-IV (LGM-30H) is still being developed as a stopgap until Full Operational Capability with the new ICBM System is achieved at which MM-III/IV will be transferred to OSP for use as conversional launchers.
« Last Edit: 08/25/2017 10:51 PM by russianhalo117 »

Online edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12559
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3355
  • Likes Given: 559
Currently MM-III flies with 10 of its 11 MIRV slots occupied.
I believe that Minuteman 3 only had 3 MIRVs when first deployed.  Most test flights since START 2 carry a single inert warhead, presumably simulating the currently deployed situation, though there was a MIRV test last year.  In 2014, the U.S. announced that it had removed the last MIRV from its deployed Minuteman 3 missiles.  http://allthingsnuclear.org/emacdonald/the-end-of-mirvs-for-u-s-icbms

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 08/26/2017 12:02 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 982
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Liked: 191
  • Likes Given: 558
Currently MM-III flies with 10 of its 11 MIRV slots occupied.
I believe that Minuteman 3 only had 3 MIRVs when first deployed.  Most test flights since START 2 carry a single inert warhead, presumably simulating the currently deployed situation, though there was a MIRV test last year.  In 2014, the U.S. announced that it had removed the last MIRV from its deployed Minuteman 3 missiles.  http://allthingsnuclear.org/emacdonald/the-end-of-mirvs-for-u-s-icbms

 - Ed Kyle
Yes, I think it's Peacekeeper that carried 10 warheads.
Support your local planetarium!

Offline Arch Admiral

  • Member
  • Posts: 81
  • 14th Naval District
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 0
If the design requirements cited by previous posters are real, this program will be far too expensive for the USAF to afford, especially in competition with the OHIO-class SSBN replacement program. The only way in which Minuteman III or IV is behind the times is that has no mobile launcher like Topol/Topol-M/Yars, and mobile deployment on public roads is politically impossible in America.

Anti-ABM features seem pointless, since nobody but the USA has a serious ABM program or the budget to fund one. Even our systems perform poorly in carefully staged tests.

So I predict this program will never go beyond a paper study.


Tags: