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Northrop Grumman Sentinel ICBM Key Tests

Northrop Grumman and an industry partner successfully conducted Sentinel ICBM Shroud Fly-off Test verifying the shroud did not strike enclosed payload, critical to mission success [© Northrop Grumman]

Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully completed key tests of several crucial elements of the Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile.

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Press Release, Roy UT, 20 February 2024: Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully completed tests of several crucial elements of the Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), marking significant progress for the programme in its engineering, manufacturing and development phase.

Forward and aft sections of a Sentinel ICBM missile were evaluated through a rigorous test campaign at the company’s Strategic Missile Test and Production Complex in Promontory, Utah. The tests lower risk for the programme with important data about the missile’s in-flight structural dynamics. Data from the tests help engineering teams mature models, lower risk and ensure flight success.

The shroud fly-off and missile modal tests were part of the company’s engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD), or design, contract for Sentinel. Northrop Grumman is closely partnered with the Air Force as the EMD phase progresses and key milestones are achieved.

Sarah Willoughby, vice president and programme manager, Sentinel, Northrop Grumman: “Working with the Air Force and our team of suppliers, we put key elements of the missile’s hardware to the test to mature our design and lower risk. The shroud fly-off test proved our modelling predictions are solid, while the missile stack test demonstrated in-flight missile performance, helping validate assumptions and fine-tune models. These successes give us confidence as we continue progressing on the path to deliver a safe, secure and reliable capability to the nation.”

Details on Programme: The Sentinel programme is a modernisation of the nation’s ground-based leg of the strategic triad and is planned to be viable through 2075.

Northrop Grumman leads a nationwide team for Sentinel’s EMD contract. The team is responsible for designing the most technologically advanced portion of America’s ground-based strategic deterrent and is closely partnered with the Air Force to continue to mature the design while reducing risk as key EMD milestones are achieved.

Other advancements previously performed under EMD include stage-two and stage-one solid rocket motor static fire tests and hypersonic wind tunnel testing.

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