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Northrop completes Sentinel ICBM chamber tests

17th January 2024 - 16:59 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


A rendering of the new LGM-35 Sentinel missile flying. (Image: Northrop Grumman)

As the land element of the US nuclear triad, Sentinel will include a fully integrated launch, flight and infrastructure system with modern C2 features. It is designed to operate into the 2070s as a replacement for the LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental nuclear ballistic missile.

Northrop Grumman has completed the vacuum chamber test firing of a Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) stage-two solid rocket motor, a scenario designed to simulate real-world environmental conditions the unit would experience during high-altitude and space flight.

The results of the test will be analysed and the company will begin a series of rocket motor qualification testing for both stages.

This test was conducted under the company’s engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD), or design contract for Sentinel. Northrop Grumman has continued to perform on this phase and has been working closely with the US Air Force on progressing EMD milestones.

The Sentinel program, a modernisation of the US’s ground-based leg of the strategic triad, has been designed to be viable through to 2075. Other key milestones previously performed under EMD include hypersonic wind tunnel testing and a stage-one solid rocket motor static fire.

Northrop Grumman led a nationwide team for the engineering, manufacturing and design contract. The team was responsible for designing the most technologically advanced portion of the US’s ground-based strategic deterrent, working with the Air Force to mature the design while reducing risk.

The Shephard News Team


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