Boeing drops out of GBSD competition to replace ICBMs
Boeing announced Thursday that it will not bid for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent engineering and manufacturing development phase of the project.
GBSD is the missile system that will replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile currently in use at Malmstrom Air Force Base, as well as F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming and Minot AFB in North Dakota.
The Air Force awarded two contracts in 2017, one to Boeing and one to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation for the technology maturation and risk reduction phase. This phase is scheduled to last about 36 months and then the Air Force will select a single contractor for the engineering and development phase.
Boeing’s contract for this phase is $349 million. Northrop’s is $328 million.
Last week, the Air Force released a request for proposals for its Ground Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system program on July 16.
The request is for the weapon system’s Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase and includes five production lot options to produce and deploy the weapon system, according to a release from the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center Public Affairs.
The two contractors for GBSD’s current Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, will compete for the EMD contract.
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center expects to award the contract in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020.
In a statement, Boeing said, “after numerous attempts to resolve concerns within the procurement process, Boeing has informed the Air Force that it will not bid Ground Based Strategic Deterrent engineering and manufacturing development under the current acquisition approach. We’ve evaluated these issues extensively, and determined that the current acquisition approach does not provide a level playing field for fair competition. Boeing is proud to support the airmen who keep the ICBM system safe, secure and reliable and remains committed to their mission.”
It’s unclear what Boeing’s departure from the competition will do to the Air Force’s process for replacing the ICBM system.