About GBSD

About GBSD

Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract to Replace the Aging ICBM System

About GBSD

The U.S. Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is the weapon system replacement for the aging LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system (ICBM). GBSD represents the modernization of the ground-based leg of the nuclear triad.

The Minuteman III first became operational in the early 1970s. While certain components and subsystems have been upgraded, most of the fundamental infrastructure in use today is the original equipment supporting more than 50 years of continuous operation.

On Sept. 08, 2020, a Northrop Grumman-led team was awarded the GBSD prime contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase.  The Air Force is focused on developing and delivering an integrated weapon system that will meet the combatant commander’s current requirements, while having the adaptability to affordably address changing technology and emerging threats through 2075.

Man wearing headset looking at computer screens in a contol room, female in military uniform in the background.

GBSD Contracting Activity: Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center

Air Force News

GBSD Prime Contractor: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman News Release Northrop Grumman GBSD News
Hudson Institute report touts the advantages of GBSD program

Why modernize?

The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Analysis of Alternatives provided decisive analysis that continued life extension of the Minuteman III (MM III) would be more costly than a replacement system and would not address future challenges and threats to our current ICBM force. GBSD is the lowest risk, highest value decision to meet current and future military requirements.” USSTRATCOM’s Statement to Congress, Feb 2020; pg. 9.

OSD Fact Sheet: The Importance of Modernizing the Nuclear Triad

GBSD Teammates

Learn more about the Northrop Grumman-led Nationwide Team here.

Aerojet Rocketdyne


Clark Construction

Collins Aerospace

General Dynamics

HDT Global


Kratos Defense and Security Solutions

Lockheed Martin

Textron Systems


2010 – Nuclear Posture Review

2012 – Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) begins

2015 – Milestone A/AOA approved

2016 – TMRR begins

2017 – TMRR award

2018 – Nuclear Posture Review

2019 – July – RFP released

2020 – September EMD Award

2029 – GBSD program will deliver a fully integrated weapon system beginning in FY2029

2036 – Full Operational Capability

2075 – Program remains in service

Facts and History

65 Years of ICBM Expertise

ICBM Legacy

Northrop Grumman News