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Boeing awarded $4.1B for missile defense system development

Boeing is being tasked with development of a boost vehicle, software support equipment and testing of several components of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

By
Allen Cone
Boeing is prime contractor on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense anti-ballistic missile system, which is designed to protect the entire United States. Photo courtesy of Boeing
Boeing is prime contractor on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense anti-ballistic missile system, which is designed to protect the entire United States. Photo courtesy of Boeing

March 25 (UPI) -- Boeing was awarded a $4.1 billion contract to provide development services on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense anti-ballistic missile system.

The new deal, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, combines with a $6.56 billion award Boeing awarded in January 2018 for upgrades to the GMD system, bringing the total value of the contract to $10.8 billion.

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The system is billed by Boeing as the only operationally deployed missile defense system capable of defending the entire United States, Alaska and Hawaii included, from long-range ballistic missile attacks.

The system provides early detecting and tracking of the boost and midcourse phases of enemy ballistic missiles, offering interception and destruction of target missiles through the force of collision.

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The first GMD flight test was held in 2013, and the system successfully intercepted a defense target in 2017.

The new contract covers delivery of a new missile field with 20 silos, and two additional silos in a previously constructed missile field at Fort Greely, Alaska. The MDA opted to defer 20 additional ground-based interceptors -- which carry an estimated value of $1.3 billion -- because they did not meet the entrance criteria for the redesigned kill vehicle critical design review.

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A portion of the effort to deliver 11 boost vehicles for flight tests and spares, which is estimated at $474 million, will also remain under the undefinitized contract action at this time.

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Additional work under the contract includes boost vehicle development, assets for labs and test events, development of ground systems software to address emergent threats, development and fielding of launch support equipment, expanded testing efforts, cyber security and other needed logistics.

Work on the contract, expected to run through December 2023, will be performed Air Force bases across the United States, including Vandenberg AFB in California; Schriever AFB, Peterson AFB and Cheyenne Mountain Air Station in Colorado; and Fort Greely, Alaska; as well as locations in Colorado Springs, Colo., Huntsville, Ala., and Tucson, Ariz.

The MDA, at the time of award, has obligated more than $26.9 million in fiscal 2018 and 2019 research, development, test and evaluations funds.

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Boeing, which the MDA said was chosen because "no other companies would have been able to satisfactorily perform the required services without unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency's requirements," is working with Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK and Raytheon as subcontractors on the project.

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