Boeing

America's Homeland Defense Shield

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system is the United States' only operationally deployed missile defense program capable of defending the entire U.S. homeland (including Alaska and Hawaii) against long-range ballistic missile attacks. GMD is designed to detect, intercept and destroy long-range ballistic missiles during their midcourse phase of flight. The system provides early detection and tracking during the boost and midcourse phase, as well as target discrimination, precision intercept and destruction of the target through force of collision. GMD is an integral element of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's layered ballistic missile defense architecture. As prime contractor, Boeing designs, produces, integrates, tests and sustains all GMD components deployed across 15 time zones.

Ground-based Midcourse Defense Milestones

Ground-based Midcourse Defense Customer

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Boeing has helped the United States Missile Defense Agency guard against all missile threats through its Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, which became operational in 2004. Boeing has been the lead for the capability since 1998.

Ground-based Midcourse Defense Feature Stories

Ground Based Interceptor

Milestone Delivery Achieved

March 20, 2018 in Defense

The Boeing-led industry team delivered the milestone 44th interceptor ahead of schedule.

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FTG-15 flight test video

May 30, 2017 in Defense

A long-range ground-based interceptor is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll.

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'Impossible' Problem Solved

August 19, 2014 in Defense

Boeing intercepts and destroys a target in flight – essentially hitting a bullet with a bullet – using the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

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FTG-06 Flight Video

June 22, 2014 in Defense

A long-range ground-based interceptor is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and intercepted an intermediate-range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll.

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Ground-based Midcourse Defense Quick Facts

  • Interceptors are emplaced at two sites in the United States, one in Vandenberg, Calif., and the other in Fort Greely, Alaska.
  • Altogether, the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system requires 20,000 miles (32,187 kilometers) of fiber optic cable.
  • Boeing has been prime contractor since 1998.
  • Boeing has partnered with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency in the design, development, integration, test and sustainment of all GMD components.
  • Key subcontractors include Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.