NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Northrop Grumman announced on Monday that Aerojet Rocketdyne will join its Ground Based Strategic Deterrent team to develop a modernized intercontinental ballistic missile for the U.S. Air Force.
The GBSD — an estimated $63 billion program to replace the Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile — was expected to be a two-horse race between Northrop Grumman and Boeing. But Boeing decided to drop out after it concluded that Northrop Grumman’s dominance of the solid rocket motors market would give it an overwhelming pricing advantage it could not compete against.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is the only other U.S. manufacturer of large solid rocket motors, and in recent years it had lost significant market share to Orbital ATK which in 2017 was acquired by Northrop Grumman.
In July 2019, the Air Force released its final request for proposals for the GBSD program, with an expected award date in the third quarter of 2020.
The addition of Aerojet to Northrop’s team guarantees that the nation’s only two manufacturers of large solid rocket motors will be part of the GBSD program. Other members of the Northrop Grumman team include BRPH, Clark Construction, Collins Aerospace, General Dynamics, Honeywell, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, Parsons and ...