Boeing and Northrop Grumman have started setting the requirements for the next phase of a program that aims to replace the U.S. Air Force's aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, National Defense Magazine reported Friday.
Patricia Dare, team lead for strategic deterrence systems at Boeing, said the firm will provide the Air Force with a set of requirements for the engineering, manufacturing and development round of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent program.
She added that there is a need to lay out the capabilities that the GBSD system would need to counter emerging threats.
Boeing and Northrop are conducting the effort under their respective contracts that have a combined value of $677.7M.
The service branch is expected to award a final contract to one of these companies in August 2019. The system should have been put in place by the end of 2020, the report said.
Tom Karako, senior international security program fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the winning contractor needs to consider using the old system’s components for existing platforms.
“There are other elements of analog, which from the scheme of things might be just fine or have qualities we don't necessarily want to dispense with,“ he added.