US Army and Boeing sign $5 billion ballistic missile defense contract
Boeing has clinched a $5-billion contract to support the US Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) anti-ballistic missile program.
As part of the agreement, the company will conduct engineering and physical and logistical integration of Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) components into the country’s missile defense system.
The initiative seeks to ensure the system’s readiness to protect the US homeland from intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile threats.
According to Boeing, its proposal for the program was motivated by the firm’s “decades of experience” and “unique expertise” in weapon systems integration.
“We’re proud to continue to support the mission-readiness of this critical missile defense capability for the nation,” Boeing vice president Cindy Gruensfelder said in a press release.
The company will also conduct routine maintenance, analysis, and failure/fault checks.
The majority of the work for the contract will be performed at Boeing’s facility in Huntsville, Alabama.
Years in the Making
In 2019, Boeing backed out of a US missile defense contract competition.
The company later proposed collaborating with fellow American firm Northrop Grumman to produce the country’s next-generation missile system.
However, the MDA has decided to give three separate contracts under the GMD program for System Integration, Test, and Readiness (SITR), weapon system development, and the next-generation interceptor.
Northrop was awarded a $3.3-billion contract in July for weapon system development, while several companies are still vying for the next-generation interceptor deal.
The SITR contract was also recently awarded to Boeing and is expected to run through August 2027.
Additional Investments in Missile Defense
In 2021, the MDA and Boeing successfully demonstrated an advanced interceptor capability for the GMD system.
The test showed a ground-based interceptor launched into space with a three-stage booster to intercept missiles earlier than previous models.
The US Army in April also began initial operational testing of its integrated air and missile defense system.
The system undertook software modeling and simulation, live air battles, and missile flight tests using actual targets to identify how it works in a realistic operational environment.