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LGM-35
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Northrop Grumman LGM-35 Sentinel

The LGM-35 Sentinel, originally known as GBSD (Ground Based Strategic Deterrent) is planned to be the next land-based ICBM of the U.S. Air Force, to replace the aging LGM-30G Minuteman III.

The GBSD progam began in 2016, and in August 2017, Boeing and Northrop Grumman received 3-year development contracts to make a bid as main contractor by 2020. However, Boeing stepped out of the program in 2019, leaving NG as the only bidder. In September 2020, Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract to develop a new ICBM, and in April 2022, the USAF announced that the new missile would be designated LGM-35A Sentinel (see also the designation note below). IOC (Initial Operational Capability) was originally planned for 2030 at the latest, but the program is reportedly already behind schedule. If actually procured and fielded, the Sentinel is expected to remain in service at least until 2075, and quite possibly much longer.

Image: USAF
LGM-35A (notional concept image)


So far, almost no information about the characteristics of the LGM-35A missile has been made public. It is expected to be a three-stage solid-propellant rocket. The warhead will be a W87-0 or (later) W87-1 thermonuclear warhead with a yield of 300 kT. A completely new reentry vehicle is to be developed for the missile, called the NGRV (Next Generation Reentry Vehicle).

Designation Note: In August 2017, the designation YLGM-182A had been officially allocated to the GBSD program. It is unclear, why the number 182 was later changed to 35. Usually, the allocation of an MDS with an out-of-sequence number is accompanied by an explanation, why this specific number has been selected. However, this was not the case, when the LGM-35A designation was announced.

Specifications

No details about the characteristics of the LGM-35A missile are available.

Main Sources

[1] Wikipedia: LGM-35 Sentinel
[2] Air & Space Forces Magazine: LGM-35A Sentinel landing page


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Last Updated: 2 January 2024