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Northrop Grumman modernises US ICBM system

15th November 2021 - 17:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Northrop Grumman begins the insulation wind process for the first-stage solid rocket motor, applying insulation from right to left. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman has achieved a key manufacturing milestone in the process of modernising the US’ ICBM systems.

Northrop Grumman has achieved a key manufacturing milestone in August as it successfully performed the first insulation and case wind of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) first-stage solid rocket motor.

They performed the insulation wind around a plaster tooling mandrel. The insulation protects the outer casing of the motor from extreme temperatures caused by burning propellant inside the motor.

Following insulation is the case wind process, which applies composite material around the insulation to form the outer structure, or shell, of the motor.

Northrop Grumman has begun a similar insulation and case wind process for the second-stage motor, as the programme team continues on track to the Air Force GBSD schedule.

The first-stage motor will begin testing to validate tooling and manufacturing processes as well as pressure-testing to ensure structural design integrity.

The new GBSD missile will be a three-stage solid rocket motor, Northrop Grumman is building the first and second stage.

Northrop Grumman was awarded the GBSD engineering and manufacturing development contract in September 2020 to begin modernising the nation’s ageing intercontinental ballistic missile system.

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