One of two corporations working on the next generation of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system was in Great Falls this week to discuss the operations with the community.
It was the third trip Northrop Grumman Corporation, a defense contract company, has made to the Electric City.
“It is a continuation of partnership,” Russ Anarde, Northrop Grumman corporate lead executive, said.
The company met with small businesses that could help implement the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, which is the weapon system replacement for the ICBM system that has been in place since the 1960s.
In August of 2017, the United States Air Force chose Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Boeing Company to move the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase of the process forward.
The Air Force wants the next generation of the design to operate for the next 50 years.
Anarde said it is important for Northrop Grumman to visit the communities with missile bases.
“We need to be out. We need to be talking with communities, growing the partnership, expanding the communication,” he said. “Importantly at this point, beginning to qualify businesses. Once that award is made, we would expect that process will pick up in tempo.”
The Air Force will announce the recipient of the final contract in the fall of 2020.