By Ann Roosevelt

Boeing [BA] will bring to bear its history of experience and expertise with missile defense to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) competition for Development and Sustainment contract for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, officials said.

Recent restructuring within the company led to the addition of the Strategic Missile Systems group to the Missile Defense Systems division, which is a plus for the looming competition, Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, said at a briefing yesterday.

“We have a long proud role in the strategic missile environment but we also believe there will be a lot of synergies we can gain from the experience gained on the maintenance of the ICBM fleet and how that can help a system like GMD going forward,” he said.

“Many of the technologies and skills that have been used there over the years to sustain the Minuteman fleet are very similar to the skills we need on GMD going forward,” he said.

Boeing, as prime contractor on GMD since 2001, leads an industry team including Raytheon [RTN], Orbital Sciences [ORB], and Northrop Grumman [NOC].

“We are committed to keeping GMD viable through the future and to winning the upcoming competition,” Hyslop said. “We believe our experience in terms of the design and development of the GMD system and, now, successfully sustaining that system in the field will meet our customer’s requirements and that puts us in good stead going into that competition.”

Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin [LMT] have also said they’ll compete for the contract (Defense Daily, Jan. 22). This week, Raytheon said it was examining its options and talking with other industry firms as it determines whether it will join the competition.

MDA, which is responsible for developing the ballistic missile defense system, issued the draft Request For Proposals for development and sustainment acquisition to provide GMD with continued development, manufacturing, testing, operations and sustainment.

The contract is expected to be awarded in fiscal year 2011.

Norm Tew, vice president and program director of GMD at Boeing, said, “The GMD program has a solid track record.”

This includes emplacing more than 20 operational interceptors at Ft. Greely, Alaska, and at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., he said.

Additionally, there have been seven successful intercepts in nine launches. An intercept flight test in January, FTG-06, failed, but what went wrong is still being analyzed by MDA and Boeing.

Boeing also led the successful effort after the presidential direction in 2002 to deploy an initial capability by September 2004. As well, as part of the acquisition strategy, the company led spiral development and upgrades to the system

“We have designed, developed, integrated, tested and deployed six major system upgrades since that time,” Tew said. “Our accomplishments and sustained performance over the past decade as well as our expertise in managing highly complex integrated and networked system demonstrates that Boeing is the best qualified and most experienced” as the Boeing is well positioned to compete and win additional additional GMD support contracts.