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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Northrop Grumman touts GBSD rocket motor milestone

© Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman recently attained a Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) first-stage solid rocket motor manufacturing milestone by successfully executing the first insulation and case wind processes.

“Working closely with the Air Force and nationwide team of industry partners, we continue to make progress to modernize the country’s aging intercontinental ballistic missile system,” Steve Lunny, vice president, GBSD program, Northrop Grumman, said. “This manufacturing milestone further demonstrates the maturity of our first-stage solid rocket motor design, manufacturing process, tooling, and business systems.”

Northrop Grumman noted insulation protects the rocket motor’s outer casing from extreme temperatures created by burning propellant inside the motor while the case wind process applies composite material around the insulation to form the motor’s outer shell.

The firm secured the GBSD engineering and manufacturing development contract in September 2020, officials said, as part of an effort to modernize the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile system. The GBSD program involves over 10,000 people nationwide directly working on the national security program, per authorities.

The GBSD missile will be a three-stage solid rocket motor, and Northrop Grumman is responsible for building the first and second stages.

Northrop Grumman has initiated a similar insulation and case wind process for the second-stage motor. The program team is working under the Air Force GBSD schedule.