Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful reliability testing of the United States Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapons system.
The Northrop Grumman led ICBM prime team includes Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ATK and more than 20 other subcontractors. The ICBM team is responsible for overall sustainment of the weapon system including development, production, deployment and system modifications.
“We are honored to be part of this ongoing ICBM test process and the day-to-day deterrent mission the Minuteman force provides to the nation,” said Bill Carty, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Defense and Government Services division. “Northrop Grumman has supported our nation’s ICBM missile systems program for more than 50 years and we look forward to supporting the needs of the Air Force long into the future.”
The operational test was designated Glory Trip 203GM. The test launch proceeded as planned with the missile traveling roughly 4,800 miles in 30 minutes. The Minuteman III carried a single Mk21 re-entry vehicle specially instrumented to measure operational performance parameters such as in-flight reliability and accuracy.
The re-entry vehicle landed on target in a pre-designated area within the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site near Kwajalein Atoll in the western chain of the Marshall Islands. Operational tests, with the aide and oversight of the 576th Test Squadron, were conducted by maintenance and operations personnel from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
“The Northrop Grumman System Engineering Support team executes critical support functions before, during and after each Air Force Global Strike Command test launch,” said Tony Spehar, vice president and ICBM prime integration contract program manager for Northrop Grumman. “Successful operational test launches assess and demonstrate the effectiveness of the deployed weapon system and are critical to determining the health of the Minuteman weapon system.”