The Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. announced a strategic partnership in pursuing the competitive development and sustainment contract for future work on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system for the US Missile Defense Agency.

"Boeing takes great pride in supporting the Missile Defense Agency on GMD, providing 24/7/365 protection of the United States against attack by ballistic missiles, and we are pleased to join with Northrop Grumman in this competition for future development and support of this critical element of the defense of our homeland," said Greg Hyslop, Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems. "This partnership offers MDA the most experienced and responsive team, ready to adapt GMD to future needs and requirements. At the same time, this proven team will continue to offer the warfighter an unmatched level of mission readiness, availability and support—affordably and with the lowest risk."

The two companies also announced leaders for the combined team. As part of the strategic partnership, Norm Tew, Boeing Vice President and GMD Program Director, will serve as Program Manager of the Boeing-Northrop Grumman GMD team. Steve Owens, Northrop Grumman GMD Program Director, will be the team's Deputy Program Manager.

In leading the Boeing-Northrop Grumman GMD Team, Boeing will build on its experience of supporting the Missile Defense Agency as prime contractor for the GMD program since 2001, leading the industry team in the development, deployment, integration and testing of the GMD weapon system. The Boeing-led team also operates and sustains the deployed weapon system while actively developing and testing innovative technologies to provide greater reliability and meet its customer's evolving needs and requirements.

Northrop Grumman is responsible for designing and deploying the command-and-control systems that form the backbone of the ground system, known as GMD Fire Control/Communications (GFCC) products. GFCC products connect and orchestrate GMD components that launch and guide interceptors in-flight. In addition, Northrop Grumman has developed and sustained ground-based missile systems for more than 50 years and has been prime contractor for the US Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) weapon system since 1997. Northrop Grumman has been part of the Boeing Ground-based Midcourse Defense Team for more than 10 years. "As Boeing's strategic partner, we bring the low risk of our domain expertise on GMD fire control and communications, and the robust systems management model of our leadership role on ICBMs," said Karen Williams, Vice President, Air and Missile Defense Systems, for Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector. "Those are very powerful capabilities we can use to help our team bring GMD into a new era of efficiency, affordability and long-term partnership with MDA."