Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)

Aerojet Rocketdyne will develop a large solid rocket motor and the post-boost propulsion system for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program as a key member of Northrop Grumman’s nationwide GBSD team.

Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion has powered every U.S. Air Force Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) ever fielded. We have invested significantly in advanced manufacturing capability and new facilities to provide cutting-edge and affordable propulsion solutions for critical next generation national security programs like GBSD.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s new Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Huntsville, Alabama, and its Engineering, Manufacturing & Development facility in Camden, Arkansas, were designed to provide more affordable large solid rocket motors for GBSD using modern and efficient manufacturing methods. We have also invested in precision liquid rocket propulsion technology at our facility in Canoga Park, California.

We have incorporated innovative materials and processes in the manufacture of our large solid rocket motors to bring costs down. Both our propellant and cases use proprietary materials and processes to improve solid rocket motor performance.

History

In July 2016, the U.S. Air Force released a request for proposals for its Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system program. The GBSD program is focused on developing and delivering an integrated weapon system that includes launch and command and control segments to replace the existing fleet of LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

Aerojet Rocketdyne has a long history supporting strategic system boost and post-boost propulsion. The company was the original equipment manufacturer for boost stage two and three solid rocket motors (SRM) and the post-boost propulsion system on the Minuteman III program. Aerojet Rocketdyne completed the most recent life extension effort for the Minuteman III post boost control system in 2014, and continues to provide sustaining engineering support to the U.S. Air Force.

Aerojet Rocketdyne has supported recent strategic propulsion research and development activities for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy that were focused on advancing technology and keeping sharp the engineering and manufacturing skills associated with designing large SRMs. Aerojet Rocketdyne augmented this investment using its own discretionary resources to develop technology—such as new materials for cases and nozzles, new propellants and low-cost design approaches—with direct applicability to the GBSD program.

One example of how Aerojet Rocketdyne has improved upon decades of solid rocket motor propulsion is the company’s recent announcement of a successful test of an advanced large solid rocket demonstration motor, whose design incorporates numerous advanced technologies and materials.