The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $225 million contract for 27 months to continue the full-rate production phase of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Propulsion Replacement Program (PRP). The program will replace aging solid-rocket motor sets, for stages 1, 2, and 3, in the Minuteman III missile arsenal with remanufactured motors to maintain alert-readiness status through 2020.

Today’s award represents the fifth of seven full-rate production options under the nine-year PRP contract. Options six and seven are expected to be exercised annually by the Air Force through Fiscal Year 2008. These final three options would total $626 million. The PRP contract began in 1999, and is valued at $1.9 billion over the ten-year period.

PRP is one of eight large modification programs currently managed by Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector, prime integration contractor for the program. The company assists the Air Force in activities required to sustain the United States’ ICBM arsenal.

“The Northrop Grumman PRP team worked aggressively with the Air Force and ATK to ensure this remaining piece of the restructure was implemented on schedule,” said John Clay, vice president and general manager of the ICBM Prime Integration Contract for Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. “We are now fully positioned to move forward with the remaining PRP program options to deliver this important reliability upgrade to the Air Force on cost and schedule.”

ATK is producing all three stages at full rate and expects to deliver all production motors by August 2009. The remanufacturing of the motors includes replacing the aging propellant in the motors and replacing obsolete or environmentally unsafe materials and components. Minuteman stage 1 motors are manufactured by ATK at their facility in Promontory, Utah and stage 2 and 3 motors are manufactured at the ATK Bacchus facility in Magna, Utah, with components provided by the ATK Promontory and Clearfield, Utah facilities.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems is the Air Force’s ICBM prime integration contractor supporting its customer in maintaining alert readiness of the United States’ ICBM weapon system. Northrop Grumman, its teammates and subcontractors provide system engineering, program management, integration, process discipline, domain expertise, subsystem expertise and full-spectrum ICBM industrial capabilities. Northrop Grumman manages a team consisting of three principal teammates and more than 20 subcontractors.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector’s technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training.