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Northrop Grumman and US Air Force collaborate to meet integrated baseline review milestone for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program


Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully conducted the Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) program, a critical milestone that sets the performance measurement baseline and keeps the program on track for IOC by 2029.

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Northrop Grumman and US Air Force collaborate to meet integrated baseline review milestone for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program 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 (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)


“Meeting our GBSD commitments is paramount,” said Greg Manuel, vice president and general manager, strategic deterrent systems division, Northrop Grumman. “Our team remains focused on delivering a modern strategic deterrent capability to keep pace with 21st century threats.”

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.

“Given the sheer size and importance of schedule integration, we had to be agile in meeting this critical milestone, there is no margin for delay,” said Steve Lunny, vice president, GBSD program, Northrop Grumman. “Early-on, we worked with the Air Force, shoulder-to-shoulder in a virtual setting, to engage at a deeper level and share critical insights throughout IBR to mitigate risks, arrive at a common baseline, and ultimately save time.”

Northrop Grumman was awarded the GBSD EMD contract in September 2020 to begin modernizing the nation’s aging intercontinental ballistic missile 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.

The GBSD program has also earned the e-Series designation by the U.S. Air Force, meaning the program has leveraged digital engineering principles to model and authenticate virtual designs and significantly shorten development timelines.