The Missile Defense Agency awarded Northrop Grumman [NOC] a $422 million maximum ceiling value contract for six more Boost Vehicles and related components for the Ground Based Interceptors (GBIs).

This noncompetitive contract is split into $234 million for the base period, $112 million for Option Period 1, and $76 million for Option Period 2.

Beyond the Boost Vehicles it also covers their spare components and sustainment including repair, upgrade and maintenance of software and hardware to support GBI Boost Vehicles.

The GBIs are used by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system aimed at defending against long-range ballistic missiles fired at the U.S. 

There are currently 44 GBIs divided into the Block 1 with the CE-1 kill vehicle and C1 booster, Block 2A with the CE-II kill vehicle and C1 booster and Block 2B with the CE-II Block 1 and C2 booster.

Under this new contract, fiscal year 2020 and 2021 MDA procurement funds in $31 million and $150 million, respectively, are set to be obligated at time of award for Delivery Order 1. Future funding will be determined with each additional order, the announcement said.

Work will be performed in Chandler, Ariz., and Magna, Utah, with the ordering period including options expected to be finished by August 2031.

In May, MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said current service life extension program (SLEP) work on the GBIs will help bridge the gap until the new Next Generation Interceptors, which include a new booster, are set to be fielded in the late 2020s (Defense Daily, May 19).

Hill said under the SLEP, MDA is removing the oldest GBIs from their silos, assessing the state of their propulsion, changing out one-shot devices, and updating processes. 

“So what that allows those older missiles to do now, and we’re actually changing out the boosters, is to now perform at the level of the newest ones. And so it’s, to me, that’s pretty exciting.”

He also noted the process is harvesting data that has been sequestered in hardware in the silos since 2004, which the agency is now using for a hardware-based assessment for the stockpile reliability program, using up to date data as opposed to analysis alone.