HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah —
The Air Force and Northrop Grumman conducted a static fire test March 2, 2023, for the LGM-35A Sentinel weapon system at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Promontory, Utah.
This open-air test is the first in a series of static fire tests that will validate the design and performance of Sentinel’s three-stage propulsion system during its development. The Stage-1 solid rocket motor (SRM) tested here is the largest of Sentinel’s three stages and the first SRM to fire upon missile launch.
“This test is just one part of our comprehensive ground and flight test program designed to help us shake down the design as we approach its critical design review. By testing early, we reduce risk to the overall weapon system schedule.” said Maj. Gen. John Newberry, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems.
The test results are currently being analyzed by a team of experts from AFNWC and Northrop Grumman.
“This test shows that the Sentinel program is now in the phase of its development where physical hardware is being tested in real-world conditions,” Newberry said. “It is further evidence that AFNWC will successfully deliver this capability to the warfighter.”
The Air Force plans to replace the fielded Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile with the next-generation Sentinel system currently in development. The Sentinel acquisition program represents the modernization of the land-based leg of the U.S. nuclear triad.