Northrop team supports ICBM test

July 8, 2011 at 10:42 AM
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., July 8 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman reports its ICBM Prime Integration team participated in the U.S. Air Force's successful test launch of a Minuteman III missile last month.

It said the launch proceeded as planned with the missile traveling about 4,800 miles in about 30 minutes. The Minuteman III carried a single re-entry vehicle that was specially instrumented to measure various performance parameters.

The re-entry vehicle landed on target near Kwajalein Atoll in the western chain of the Marshall Islands.

"The expertise the Air Force ICBM System Program Office and prime contractor team has developed during 40 years of maintaining the integrity of Minuteman and its complex support system was evident once again in this test," said Tony Spehar, vice president and program manager for the ICBM Prime Integration Contract.

"The team continues to use this expertise to enhance the command and control, nuclear safety and extraordinary physical security required, while maintaining the high on-alert availability and reliability the system requires."

Operational test launches assess and demonstrate the effectiveness of the weapon system. The ICBM Prime Team delivers information regarding site selection for test assets and reviews flight test hardware configuration.

Prime Team activities are performed before, during and after each ICBM test launch in partnership with the ICBM Systems Program Office at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Northrop Grumman's IPIC program has headquarters in Clearfield, Utah. The ICBM Prime Team includes three principal teammates -- Boeing, Lockheed Martin and ATK -- and more than 20 subcontractors.

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