Lockheed Martin announced Thursday that it has submitted a proposal to develop and produce the Air Force’s new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) system, including a new ICBM. The proposal was submitted Tuesday ahead of the Oct. 12 deadline. In a conference call with reporters, John Karas, vice president and GBSD program manager, said the new missile design would include three stages and a fourth post-boost stage, similar to Minuteman III, the USAF’s current ICBM. Lockheed Martin said it would design the system within a “total digital environment,” which Karas said would be a first for the Air Force. The “digital tapestry” design approach will lead to both cost savings in development scheduling and adaptability of the system design to emerging technologies, since the new GBSD is expected to be deployed up to 2075.
The Air Force has not released a full list of proposals received, but Boeing and Northrop Grumman also have delivered proposals, according to company officials. Northrop Grumman, which has served as the “developer and systems integrator on every ICBM weapon system since 1954,” submitted its proposal on Oct. 11, according to a company statement. “Northrop Grumman is leveraging its comprehensive ICBM weapon systems understanding to fully integrate flight systems, launch systems, and command and control into a sustainable, capable, and affordable ICBM weapon system,” the company said.