The U.S. Air Force is expected to award a contract for the potential $85B Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinentinal ballistic missile program to Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) by the end of September but Will Roper, the service’s acquisition executive and a 2020 Wash100 awardee, said the contract award could occur sooner than expected, Defense News reported Thursday.
“I think early award is possible on GBSD,” Roper said Thursday during a teleconference. “I’m very hopeful, but because GBSD has a large component of classified work, that team is having to go in and maintain workforce in our [sensitive compartmented information facilities] and in our classified spaces. So we’re watching very carefully to make sure the installations are open to allow that work.”
Northrop and Boeing (NYSE: BA) each received contracts in August 2017 to perform technology maturation and risk reduction work for the GBSD program, which seeks to replace the Minuteman III ICBM. Boeing dropped out of the competition, leaving Northrop as the only bidder for the program.