The U.S. Air Force conducted in late April a three-day preliminary design review of Northrop Grumman's proposed system for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missile program, the service branch reported Friday.
The service hosted the review from April 28 through April 30 involving over 25 government organizations connected through a secure virtual environment.
“The PDR ensured Northrop Grumman's design is sufficiently mature and ready to proceed into detailed design with acceptable risk, and will meet performance requirements within budget and on schedule,“ said Col. Jason Bartolomei, GBSD system program manager.
The Air Force expects to award the engineering and manufacturing development contract for the GBSD program before the end of fiscal year 2020 and receive later this year the Department of Defense's approval to transition the program to Milestone B.
The GBSD program seeks to replace the Minuteman III ICBM and reflects the modernization of the nuclear triad's ground-based leg. Deployment of GBSD is expected to kick off in late 2020s.
The review's completion came five months after Northrop submitted its bid for the GBSD program.