Boeing has delivered two new ground-based interceptors to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, in Fort Greely, Alaska — home to the missile fields that protect the entire United States homeland from long-range ballistic threats. The additional interceptors strengthen the capacity, capability and reliability of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, or GMD, system. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) is the United States’ anti-ballistic missile system for intercepting incoming warheads in space, during the midcourse phase of ballistic trajectory flight. It is a major component of the American missile defense strategy to counter ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) carrying nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads.
“We continue to drive the modernization and technological advancement of the GMD system in support of vital national security needs. The Ground-Based Interceptors remain the only operationally deployed missile component of GMD. These deliveries represent the culmination of efforts to expand and enhance our homeland missile defense,” said Debbie Barnett, vice president and program director of GMD for Boeing.
“Boeing is making America’s homeland defense stronger. From integration to testing and fielding, I couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved with reaching this milestone. We take great pride in supporting the critical GMD mission,” said Jim Bryan, Boeing’s Ground-Based Interceptor director.
After final assembly at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, the interceptors were flown to Fort Greely aboard Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft, which are designed for long-haul military transport of oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions. The deliveries are part of the GMD Service Life Extension Program, or SLEP, which is designed to upgrade the reliability of current interceptors, and integrate new and existing components to increase the number of interceptors available to the warfighter. Including test articles, Boeing continues to support ongoing construction in Fort Greely to further expand system capacity.
Boeing is also developing and employing cutting-edge technologies to enhance the GMD system, including incorporating transformational digital engineering capabilities and supporting evolving requirements needed to ensure the system’s continued effectiveness against proliferating threats. Boeing has been the lead integrator of the GMD system since 1998. As prime contractor, the company designs, produces, integrates, tests and sustains all GMD components deployed across 15 time zones. The system is the cornerstone of the MDA’s layered ballistic missile defense architecture — providing an around-the-clock capability to defend all 50 states at a moment’s notice.