Boeing Huntsville gets contract boost for key missile defense system

Boeing Huntsville gets contract boost for key missile defense system
Boeing has had a significant presence in Alabama for 57 years, and its operations here employ about 3,000 people. (Boeing)

Aerospace giant Boeing Co.’s Huntsville operation has been awarded a $249 million contract modification in support of the only operationally deployed missile defense capable of shielding the entire U.S. against long-range ballistic missile attacks.

Boeing’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system is designed to detect, intercept and destroy long-range missiles during their midcourse phase of flight. The system provides early detection and tracking, as well as target discrimination, precision interception and destruction of the target through the force of collision.

Huntsville is the headquarters for the GMD program, as well as Boeing’s Missile and Weapon Systems division. The contract modification award comes through the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

The GMD program has been protecting the United States around the clock since 2004.

As the prime contractor on the GMD program, Boeing designs, integrates, tests and sustains all GMD components deployed across 15 time zones.

Last year, the Boeing Huntsville site supported the U.S. Air Force during four missile flight tests, including a historic “two-shot salvo” engagement where two Ground-based Midcourse Defense system interceptors were launched and successfully destroyed.

‘Breakthrough technologies’

Boeing’s presence in Alabama stretches back 57 years, and today there are around 3,000 employees in the state. The company’s operations in Alabama span a wide range of research, design, development and manufacturing activities, including space and defense work, commercial airplanes and supporting services.

“It’s hard to overstate Boeing’s influence on Alabama’s economy and aerospace industry,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“This company helped form the foundation of our state’s contribution to missile defense, space exploration and aviation advancements, and it continues to shape these industries in markets around the globe with breakthrough technologies and products,” he said.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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