US, France Researching Strategic Missile Upgrades
GenCorp Inc. subsidiary Aerojet won a contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop new solid rocket motor technologies for application on future Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Systems. In the first six-month phase, Aerojet will conduct analyses to evaluate solid rocket motor (SRM) technologies balancing cost and performance for a future strategic strike system.
If selected by the Air Force for the second phase, Aerojet will develop advanced manufacturing processes that optimize low life cycle costs, and will produce a full-scale demonstrator motor for testing. The firm has a 50-year heritage as a solid rocket motor supplier for Minuteman, MX Peacekeeper and Small ICBM missile systems.
Meanwhile, Defense Aerospace has translated an announcement from the French DGA defense procurement agency, which is launching a demonstrator program for the third stage of a submarine-based strategic ballistic missile. This demonstrator is designed to expand future choices in system design and technologies for the submarine component of its nuclear deterrent, and maintain the country’s techno-industrial base.