Ground-Based Midcourse Defense

Protecting America against long-range ballistic missile threats.

Missiles being intercepted by other missiles

Architects of Modern Missile Defense

Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) is the cornerstone of MDA’s layered missile defense architecture, providing an around-the-clock capability to defend all 50 states at a moment’s notice. It is the first and only operational system designed to defend the entire U.S. against long-range ballistic missiles. For more than two decades, Northrop Grumman has supported the GMD system through development, integration, operations and sustainment of the GMD Weapon System and Ground Based Interceptor boost vehicle.

Built on over 60 years of mission-proven missile defense experience, Northrop Grumman provides full scope missile defensecapabilities to include test targets, advanced space domain awareness, missile warning and interceptors integrated through secure communications. As the GMD mission expands to keep our homeland safe from new and evolving threats, Northrop Grumman has the thought leadership and proven execution capability to outsmart and outpace the threat.

command center with people and computers

GMD Weapon System

Leading the Future of Missile Defense

The GMD Weapon System (GWS) is the integrating component of homeland defense, developing integrated battle plans based on sensor data and facilitating the warfighter’s usage of the current fleet of Gound-Based Interceptors and will leverage the future Next Generation Interceptors to mitigate the threat. As the GWS prime, Northrop Grumman will be a key defense industry partner in engineering, producing, and testing of the missile defense shield protecting the United States. GWS is comprised of the following products:

  • The GMD Fire Control is the true “brains of the operation,” providing the threat assessment and engagement planning functionality of the system.
  • The Ground Support System monitors the health and status of each interceptor to ensure weapon system readiness and rapidly performs the detailed flight calculations to program the interceptor to ensure a successful engagement.
  • The Phased-Array Interceptor Communication System enables post-launch communications between the GMD Fire Control and the interceptor, providing updated target information to the kill vehicle during flight.
  • The GMD Network Infrastructure supports the GMD Communications Network to provide connectivity to all GMD assets and links GMD to external sensors and systems.

Ground Based Interceptor

Defending the Nation Against Ballistic Missile Threats

The Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) is a silo-launched, three-stage rocket consisting of a solid fueled multi-stage boost vehicle and Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), which makes interception of ballistic missile warheads possible using hit-to-kill technology. Northrop Grumman is responsible for the design, development and testing of the boost vehicle for the GBI and will provide sustainment support for GBI fleet. The GBI has successfully conducted multiple test flights, and interceptors are deployed to defend the American homeland.

End-to-End Missile Defense Demonstration

Experience Matters

Northrop Grumman has decades of experience as prime contractor and strategic partner on mission-critical missile defense programs that secure the nation, protect our deployed forces and defend our allies. Northrop Grumman is applying its mission systems engineering expertise in the defense against evolving and emerging missile threats and deliver decisive advantage to the warfighter.

Counter Hypersonics Mission

Counter Hypersonics

Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS)

The Nation’s Next-Generation Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System

Missile Defense

SLS Orion Propulsion Systems Northrop Grumman

Propulsion Systems

mission payload off the back of a transport aircraft

Threat Representative Targets

Next Gen OPIR Polar (NGP)

Next Gen OPIR Polar

Featured News

control room

Missile Defense Agency Selects Northrop Grumman to Lead Homeland Missile Defense Program

missile tracked in space above earth

Northrop Grumman Supports End-to-End Missile Defense Demonstration

missile launch

Northrop Grumman Supports Successful Flight Test for the Missile Defense Agency