Aerial Warfare

Northrop Grumman Advances Sentinel ICBM Design Phase with Key Tests

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Northrop Grumman Advances Sentinel ICBM Design Phase with Key Tests

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Northrop Grumman Advances Sentinel ICBM Design Phase with Key Tests
Northrop Grumman Advances Sentinel ICBM Design Phase with Key Tests

Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully completed tests of several crucial elements of the Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), marking significant progress for the program in its engineering, manufacturing and development phase. Forward and aft sections of a Sentinel ICBM missile were evaluated through a rigorous test campaign at the company’s Strategic Missile Test and Production Complex in Promontory, Utah. The tests lower risk for the program with important data about the missile’s inflight structural dynamics. Data from the tests help engineering teams mature models, lower risk and ensure flight success.

The shroud fly-off and missile modal tests were part of the company’s engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD), or design, contract for Sentinel. Northrop Grumman is closely partnered with the Air Force as the EMD phase progresses and key milestones are achieved.The Sentinel program is a modernization of the nation’s ground-based leg of the strategic triad and is planned to be viable through 2075. Northrop Grumman leads a nationwide team for Sentinel’s EMD contract.

A rendering of the new LGM-35 Sentinel missile flying at twilight.
A rendering of the new LGM-35 Sentinel missile flying at twilight. (Photo by Northrop Grumman)

Sarah Willoughby, vice president and program manager, Sentinel, Northrop Grumman: “Working with the Air Force and our team of suppliers, we put key elements of the missile’s hardware to the test to mature our design and lower risk. The shroud fly-off test proved our modeling predictions are solid, while the missile stack test demonstrated inflight missile performance, helping validate assumptions and fine-tune models. These successes give us confidence as we continue progressing on the path to deliver a safe, secure and reliable capability to the nation.”

The team is responsible for designing the most technologically advanced portion of America’s ground-based strategic deterrent and is closely partnered with the Air Force to continue to mature the design while reducing risk as key EMD milestones are achieved. Other advancements previously performed under EMD include stage-two and stage-one solid rocket motor static fire tests and hypersonic wind tunnel testing. Northrop Grumman is a leading global aerospace and defense technology company. Northrop Grumman organized its business around four main sectors, each of which comprises two or more business areas: Aeronautics Systems, Defense Systems, Mission Systems and Space Systems.

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