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Northrop Grumman wins competition to build future ICBM, by default

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Spokeswoman Ann Stefanek: “The Air Drive will proceed with an aggressive and efficient sole-source negotiation.”

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Drive confirmed Dec. 13 that Northrop Grumman is the one bidder for the Floor Based mostly Strategic Deterrent program to develop a brand new intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Air Drive solely acquired one proposal in response to a solicitation for “GBSD engineering and manufacturing growth and early manufacturing and deployment,” Air Drive spokeswoman Ann Stefanek mentioned in a press release. “The Air Drive will proceed with an aggressive and efficient sole-source negotiation. We stay on observe for a contract award within the fourth quarter of Fiscal Yr 2020.”

The GBSD is an estimated $63 billion 20-year program to interchange greater than 400 ageing Minuteman three intercontinental ballistic missiles. It was anticipated to be a two-horse race between Northrop Grumman and Boeing. However Boeing determined to drop out after it concluded that Northrop Grumman’s grip on the solid rocket motors market would give it an awesome pricing benefit it couldn’t compete in opposition to.

“Boeing is dissatisfied we had been unable to submit a bid to the GBSD solicitation,” the corporate mentioned in a press release Dec. 13.

Boeing had unsuccessfully pleaded with the Air Drive to compel Northrop Grumman to form a “national team” and embody Boeing it its bid. Within the Dec. 13 assertion, Boeing mentioned it “continues to help a change in acquisition technique that may convey the perfect of business to this nationwide precedence.”

Congressional leaders like Home Armed Companies Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) have criticized the Air Force for permitting the GBSD program to turn out to be a sole-source award, predicting that it’ll end in increased than anticipated prices.

The bipartisan convention settlement for the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act for Fiscal Yr 2020 directs the secretary of the Air Drive to undergo the congressional protection committees a report “assessing the dangers and prices ensuing from receiving just one bid for that section and plans to mitigate such dangers and prices.” The report is due 60 days after awarding a contract.

The Air Drive says it has analyzed the projected price of this system in the course of the earlier section of GBSD when Boeing and Northrop Grumman had been engaged on competing proposals. “The aggressive know-how maturation and danger discount section has offered the DoD with an unprecedented quantity of technical and value information,” mentioned Stefanek, the Air Drive spokeswoman.

Hanging over this system is an investigative question by the Federal Commerce Fee of Northrop Grumman’s June 2018 acquisition of Orbital ATK, which gave the corporate a vastly dominant place within the stable rocket motors market. Northrop Grumman CEO Kathy Warden confirmed the question in the course of the third quarter earnings name Oct. 24.

“When Northrop Grumman acquired Orbital ATK it additionally acquired a structural benefit in pricing its GBSD providing,” business guide Loren Thompson, of the Lexington Institute, informed SpaceNews. Boeing has argued that due to the acquisition of Orbital ATK, Northrop Grumman gained “anticompetitive and inherently unfair price, useful resource and integration benefits associated to stable rocket motors.” The corporate identified that stable rocket motors account for greater than half the value of an ICBM.

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Future wars is what I am looking for with Space force.

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