New sustainment plans could see Lockheed Martin reduce operating costs of the F-35 to $25,000 per flight hour.
Next-generation US nuke programme passes baseline review
Northrop Grumman announced on 7 April that it has passed a ‘critical milestone’ by completing the Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) programme.
The review sets a benchmark for performance measurement of GBSD and keeps the programme on track for IOC with the USAF by 2029, the company added.
Using the W87 mod 1 thermonuclear warhead, GBSD will replace the LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
‘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, VP of the GBSD programme at Northrop Grumman.
This agility is enabled by adopting digital engineering principles to ‘model and authenticate virtual designs and significantly shorten development timelines’, the company stated. As a result, GBSD is designated as an e-Series programme by the USAF.
Northrop Grumman leads an EMD team including Aerojet Rocketdyne, Bechtel, Clark, Collins Aerospace, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, L3 Harris, Lockheed Martin and Textron Systems, as well as hundreds of SMEs in the defence industry.
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center awarded the team a $13.29 billion EMD contract in September 2020.
As part of our promise to deliver comprehensive coverage to our Defence Insight and Premium News subscribers, our curated defence news content provides the latest industry updates, contract awards and programme milestones.
Some €600 million is being spent in Germany on a range of defence procurement initiatives.
Design research work is underway in Russia on a new ICBM to replace the RS-24 Yars.
DARPA is working with industry on 'unburdening the warfighter' by developing advanced and ultra-lightweight personal protective equipment. Its Personalized Protective Biosystems programme pre-dates COVID-19, but it arguably assumes even greater importance for defence procurement in the context of the pandemic.
Work on latest Aegis FMS contract modification for Lockheed Martin is to be completed by the end of 2022.
Interceptor used in March test was the first series-production Barak ER missile, with the IDF the most likely launch customer. The extended-range Barak variant will slot into the existing Israeli air defence umbrella of systems.