Home Americas US picks Lockheed, NG for Next Generation Interceptor program

US picks Lockheed, NG for Next Generation Interceptor program

NGI ICBM defense program
MDA photo of two long-range Ground-based Interceptors launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., March 25, 2019, in the first-ever salvo engagement test of a threat-representative ICBM target.

The US Department of Defense has awarded Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin contracts for work on the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) program, which will replace the country’s ground-based ICBM interceptors.

The two contracts have an estimated maximum value of $1.6 billion through fiscal year 2022, and are structured to carry two designs into the technology development and risk reduction phase.

Boeing, who teamed up with General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems and Aerojet Rocketdyne for the program, was not selected to proceed to the next phase of the program.

“Today’s awards are an important step in modernizing our missile defense system,” said Stacy Cummings, performing the duties of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. “NGI plays an important role in our homeland defense, and our acquisition strategy is ensuring the department maximizes innovation to keep pace with rapidly advancing threats.”

As the ground-based midcourse missile defense system, NGI is an advanced interceptor designed to protect the nation against intercontinental ballistic missile attack. NGI’s mission will be to protect the homeland against missile threats from rogue nations with a modern weapon system as an evolution of the currently deployed Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.

Pentagon said it would uphold “fly before you buy” principles to ensure the overall system and components have been rigorously flight-tested prior to making any procurement decisions.

“NGI is the result of the first holistic technical assessment of homeland defenses the department has conducted since initial system operations began in 2004,” added Vice Adm. Jon Hill, Director, Missile Defense Agency. “By planning to carry two vendors through technology development, MDA will maximize the benefits of competition to deliver the most effective and reliable homeland defense missile to the warfighter as soon as possible. Once fielded, this new homeland defense interceptor will be capable of defeating expected threat advances into the 2030s and beyond.”

Northrop Grumman teamed with Raytheon Missiles & Defense to compete in the program.

“We are bringing together next-generation technologies—digital engineering and game-changing discrimination—for an extremely advanced capability,” said Bryan Rosselli, vice president of Strategic Missile Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “This team is building on unmatched experience, accounting for all 47 prior US exo-atmospheric intercepts.”

Lockheed Martin will be working with Aerojet Rocketdyne on delivering the NGI.

“We are excited and proud the MDA entrusted Lockheed Martin to lead the development of this game-changing system that will greatly improve our nation’s security for decades to come,” said Sarah Reeves, vice president of Next Generation Interceptor Program at Lockheed Martin. “We have been working toward supporting never-fail missions such as NGI for decades, and our team has the expertise and shared vision required to deliver on the MDA’s need to evolve GMD.”