GBSD program finishes preliminary design review

By Sara Sirota / May 15, 2020 at 1:10 PM

The Air Force last month completed a virtual preliminary design review of Northrop Grumman's plan for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent -- the replacement to the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system.

"The PDR ensured Northrop Grumman's design is sufficiently mature and ready to proceed into detailed design with acceptable risk, and will meet performance requirements within budget and on schedule," Col. Jason Bartolomei, GBSD system program manager, said in a notice the Air Force released today.

Since the service ended funding for Boeing's technology maturation and risk-reduction contract, Northrop is the only company still maturing a GBSD design. It was also the sole bidder for the engineering and manufacturing development prime contract, which the Air Force is expected to award in the coming months.

Despite the coronavirus national emergency, the Air Force managed to host PDR meetings over a classified network at 19 locations across the country, according to the service's notice.

"Accomplishing this PDR is a huge success for the program, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," Bartolomei said. "The GBSD team overcame many challenges to accomplish such a large, complex PDR for an Acquisition Category 1-D program."