The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) system is intended to upgrade the ground based leg of the nuclear triad by replacing the existing Minuteman III missiles that were built in the 1970’s. The ultimate contract will be a decades long endeavor worth as much as $100 B.
The original bidders included Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. Lockheed was eliminated from the competition in 2017. Last month, the Air Force announced the award of two technology maturation and risk reduction contracts, but Boeing has informed the Government that it was bowing out of the competition, leaving Northrop Grumman as the only bidder.
Boeing had requested changes to the Request for Proposal to blunt a perceived advantage to Northrop Grumman resulting from the recent acquisition of Orbital ATK, the most likely supplier of the solid rocket motors used in the boosters.
The US Government could proceed with the program as planned with only one bidder, but is cautious about lack of competition allowing the costs to escalate. The program office could also ask for a teaming agreement, or it could modify the RFP.
Meanwhile, John Daegele, Sector VP and General Manager of NG Space Systems, spoke at the TRA’s recent Summer Reunion, and discussed the strategic implications of the Orbital ATK acquisition, and the number of significant proposal activities ongoing at Space Park. John recently announced a restructuring of the Northrop Grumman GBSD Program Office to broaden the experience and program management base.