Ground-based Midcourse System

Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System (GMD)

Architects of Modern Missile Defense.

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Northrop Grumman and GMD – Ready to Defend

GMD is the heart of the Missile Defense System and a key element of our nation’s defense against ballistic missile attacks.

The GMD Weapon System processes data from multiple sensors to identify and characterize the inbound ballistic missile threat, plans the best defensive solution, and launches the intercepting missiles to negate the threat.

An Experienced Leader in Missile Defense

Since the 1980s, Northrop Grumman has led the field in research and development of major missile defense initiatives. The concept behind GMD originated with President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and took form under President Bill Clinton’s National Missile Defense (NMD) program. In 2004, President George W. Bush declared the system operational and capable of limited defensive operations. The GMD system was expanded to include 44 interceptors under President Obama.

The current GMD Weapon System is capable of intercepting ICBM-class threats to defend the nation against missile strikes from rogue nations. The GMD Weapon System has been proven through operational flight tests spanning the Pacific Ocean.

“Today’s U.S. missile defenses provide significant protection against potential North Korean or Iranian ballistic missile strikes against the U.S. homeland, and will improve as necessary to stay ahead of missile threats from rogue states.”


– 2019 Missile Defense Review

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Northrop Grumman’s Sensors Provide Early Detection

Northrop Grumman upgrades early warning radars and is developing the space-based Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) to detect, track, and discriminate threatening enemy missile launches.

Waiting on the Green Light

With decades of experience managing strategic missile defense programs, Northrop Grumman has the expertise and vision to take the GMD system to the next level.

From the advanced ground systems to timely interceptor communications, Northrop Grumman delivers high-quality missile defense products to protect the homeland.

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GMD Weapon System: Delivering Every Time

Northrop Grumman’s 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 GBI’s to mitigate the threat. We provide the following GWS products:

  • The GMD Fire Control is the true “brains of the operation,” providing the threat assessment and engagement planning functionality of the system.
  • The GMD Communication Network provides connectivity to all GMD assets and links GMD to external sensors and systems. 
  • The Launch Management System is the pre-launch interface between the GMD Fire Control and the interceptor, providing control of the interceptor launch.
  • The In-Flight Interceptor Communication System is the post-launch interface between the GMD Fire Control and the interceptor, providing updated target information to the kill vehicle during flight.

Using Transformational Technologies to Meet Complex Threats

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.

Northrop Grumman can deliver at the speed of relevance, rapidly integrating key capabilities into the system through our open and modular architecture. We can leverage investments in new technologies to rapidly inject improvements in system performance.

We believe in leveraging the latest technologies and processes to ensure GMD can continue to stand watch over the homeland, 24×7. Further, we believe in a true partnership with our customer community, providing unparalleled insight and integration of our government teammates into program execution.

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Ready To Deliver High-Quality Agile Products

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 evolve the system along with the mission.

Northrop Grumman can deliver ahead of warfighter needs, rapidly integrating key capabilities into the system through our open and modular architecture. The company can leverage investments in new technologies to rapidly inject improvements in system performance.

We believe in leveraging the latest technologies and processes to ensure GMD can continue to stand watch over the homeland, 24×7. Further, it believes in a true partnership with our customer community, providing unparalleled insight and integration of our government teammates into program execution.

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Next Generation Interceptor

Protecting America from an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile attack is a complex task involving radars, space sensors, interceptors and a robust command and control system that must work as one. Our nation’s interceptor program is one of the most critical systems serving to protect everyone living in the United States every second of every day.

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