Friday, April 29, 2011
BOEING-NORTHROP GRUMMAN TEAM TO PROTECT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WITH MISSLE DEFENSE PROGRAM!
BOEING * AUGUST 12, 2010
Boeing and Northrop Grumman recently announced a strategic partnership to compete for the Missile Defense Agency's contract to sustain the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to defend the United States against a ballistic missile attack. Boeing GMD vice president Norm Tew (left) and Steve Owens (right), Northrop Grumman deputy program manager for the Boeing-Northrop Grumman team, explain why this unique partnership makes sense for this crucial national security asset.
In the fall of 2009, just after noon, the day before Thanksgiving, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency announced its intent to pursue a competitive contract for future work on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. In the acronym rich defense environment, GMD not only represents a massively comprehensive and complex web of radars, communication networks and operational underground interceptors, it represents the only defense the United States has against the ever-growing threat of a long-range ballistic missile attack. There was no doubt Boeing would compete for the work. Having partnered with MDA since 1998, the company and the agency together took GMD from an idea to its existing operational reality, and Boeing remains committed to ensuring GMD's success.
As part of the competition strategy, Boeing announced a strategic partnership with Northrop Grumman, a GMD industry teammate since the beginning, which combines the talents of both companies for this national security asset.
But still the question remains - what makes this team so great? For Boeing's GMD vice president Norm Tew and Northrop Grumman's Steve Owens the answer is quite clear. Following is part of their conversation on why the Boeing-Northrop Grumman team is best suited to continue what they started.
Q: How does the Boeing - Northrop Grumman team benefit the future of the GMD program?
Tew: Our focus is on how can we offer the customer, and by extension, the GMD system, the best industry team possible. GMD demands the most talented, knowledgeable and hardworking team of any defense program around. This teaming arrangement brings together two heritage GMD companies who know the system inside and out; it builds on the established working relationships with the Missile Defense Agency and it delivers the skilled workforce required to meet GMD's highly technical and rigorous demands.
Owens: That's right, this partnership takes advantage of the strengths of both to provide a superior approach to the long-term sustainment of the GMD weapon system.
Q: What makes the Boeing-Northrop Grumman team the best choice to continue leading the GMD industry team?
Tew: Quite simply, we know how to deliver the GMD capability and we've proven it. Having supported MDA since 1998 as prime contractor, we delivered an operational capability ahead of schedule, we've supported 8 successful intercept tests, and we've successfully developed and flown a 2-stage interceptor. I think our successes demonstrate our ability and desire to support MDA and the warfighter, both now and in the future.
Owens: I believe it's our proven leadership for a very dynamic GMD program. Our team has managed significant changes to the program over the years and we can leverage that experience as well as the innovative approaches from our corporations to lead the industry team as requirements for GMD evolve.
Q: GMD is a hit-to kill program - the GMD interceptor destroys a threat missile through collision of force. Describe Northrop Grumman's history on the GMD program.
Owens: Since the mid 90's, Northrop Grumman has been responsible for the development of many GMD ground systems products including the fire control, in-flight interceptor communications, launch control software and ground communications connectivity.
Tew: If I could just add to that - Northrop has been the top performing subcontractor on GMD since they joined the industry team. They are responsible for the backbone of the ground system. These products determine what enemy missiles are engaged, when they are engaged and where. They connect and orchestrate the GMD components that launch and guide the interceptors.
Q: What does Northrop Grumman bring to the table in terms of experience and knowledge in missile defense?
Owens: We have extensive experience in battle management and fire control systems with GMD, Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC), and now the Enhanced C2BMC program, which affords us an in-depth understanding of the GMD element and the BMDS assets and associated behaviors. In addition, our 40 years of ICBM experience working with the U.S. Air Force, allows us to bring established methodologies for sustaining a weapon system through a proven partnership with the customer.
Q: What is the best thing about this strategic partnership?
Tew: I believe it's our ability to combine experience and proven leadership, which in turn offers the lowest risk and innovation for the GMD system. There's no learning curve with our team. Only the Boeing-Northrop Grumman team offers the know-how for a seamless transition on Day One.
Owens: I couldn't have said it better myself. Northrop Grumman has enjoyed a good relationship with Boeing for 12 years and this is a wonderful opportunity to offer MDA continued and proven support for overall program success.
Currently, the Boeing-Northrop Grumman GMD team awaits a final request for proposal. Contract award is expected in early 2011.
Posted by Eileen at 12:52 PM