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Author Topic: Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)  (Read 58269 times)

Offline sferrin

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Re: Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)
« Reply #270 on: March 21, 2018, 07:03:00 am »
From Inside Defense pay site

USAF report shows GBSD reentry vehicle draft RFP slated for late FY-18

The Air Force plans to release a draft request for proposals for the Mark 21A nuclear reentry vehicle in late fiscal year 2018, according to a new acquisition report published this week.

One would have hoped they'd have come up with something better in the last 30 years. Obviously they aren't considering terminal guidance or maneuverability for the RV.  SAD.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)
« Reply #271 on: May 17, 2018, 07:00:13 pm »
From Inside Defense

USAF: Five companies could compete as primes for $3B GBSD reentry vehicle program

May 15, 2018

Designing and buying a new reentry vehicle for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent is expected to cost around $3 billion, although the Air Force isn't sure whether it will choose one or more contractors for the first development phase, a service spokeswoman said this week.

Five major defense contractors -- Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK and Raytheon -- are interested in competing as prime contractors for the Mark 21A reentry vehicle program's three-year technology-maturation and risk-reduction phase, the Air Force said in an April 9 notice. Boeing and Northrop are already maturing their next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile designs under contract for the GBSD program, although Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center spokeswoman Leah Bryant said May 14 the service would not prioritize their Mk21A bids.

The reentry vehicle will carry a new configuration of the Air Force and Navy's refurbished W78 and W88-1 warheads known as the Interoperable Warhead 1, starting in FY-30. GBSD is slated to begin entering missile silos in FY-29, and will initially use existing reentry vehicles until the Mark 21A is ready.

A Mark 21A solicitation is expected out this August and the contract award is slated for September 2019, according to the recent notice. In its fiscal year 2019 budget request, the Air Force stated it plans to competitively award two contracts in FY-19.

"The Mk21A RV team will hold a 'requirement deep dive' with companies that have self-identified as filling a prime role for the subject program," the notice stated. "The deep dive will consist of the government releasing an updated version of the program system requirements document and statement of work available for review."

The company -- or companies -- chosen for TMRR will mature their preliminary designs, develop ground and flight test plans for prototypes and begin developing test vehicles in FY-19.

In the program's third request for information, the Air Force indicated it is exploring its options for competing an engineering and manufacturing development contract as well.

"The government has been considering program-level strategy and is seeking feedback on a tentative evaluation criteria for EMD," the April 9 RFI stated. "One possible criteria to compete is that an offeror have a prototype design developed and requirements verified through component- and system-level [modeling and simulation] and component-level ground tests in qualification environments."

The Air Force asked industry whether that approach would make competition more possible for EMD and wants to know how the program could judge a design's risk level without requiring test flights. Bryant said TMRR and EMD will include trade studies and prototyping efforts but did not elaborate on those plans.

Mk21A risk reduction is an $18.4 million new-start effort in the FY-19 budget request, for which the Air Force is still refining its cost projection. The service is also researching reentry vehicles through multiple related efforts.

TMRR is projected to last from FY-19 to the third quarter of FY-22. A preliminary design review is slated for January 2021, followed by milestone B in July 2022. After the Air Force chooses one company's design, the program will enter EMD from the fourth quarter of FY-22 to FY-27.

When asked if the Air Force is looking at whether its future reentry vehicle could be used with the Navy's Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile or the planned Sea-Launched Cruise Missile, Bryant said the Air Force "intends to explore the possibility of common reentry systems with the U.S. Navy as described in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review."

In written testimony submitted for an April 11 Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee hearing, Air Force Global Strike Command chief Gen. Robin Rand said IW-1 could also be used on Navy missiles.

"The replacement warhead will use a [Mark 21] aeroshell and will deploy on GBSD after fiscal year 2030," Rand's testimony said. "The Navy will study the feasibility of using the same nuclear explosive package with their flight vehicle."

The NPR, published in February, directs the National Nuclear Security Administration to speed up its W78 warhead replacement by one year to start in FY-19 so it can be fielded on GBSD by 2030. NNSA was also told to investigate whether it is feasible to field the new warhead in a Navy flight vehicle.

Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Emily Grabowski told Inside Defense the services do not have a requirement to field a common reentry vehicle, meaning the Navy could use IW-1 without packaging it in the Mark 21A.

"Determining the feasibility of fielding the nuclear explosive package in a Navy flight vehicle will be studied as part of the department's NPR implementation process, to include cost, timing and decision points," Grabowski said.

Jay Coghlan, director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, wrote in January the interoperable warhead programs could cost around $50 billion and require nuclear weapon labs to produce more than 80 pits a year.

The Navy did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
See bolded - I think sferrin once commented that US produced 3000 W68s in five years along with several other warhead types.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)
« Reply #272 on: May 18, 2018, 03:13:03 am »
Yep.  80 a year is a pittance.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.