Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles & Defense are partnering to pursue a US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) contract to build the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI).
"This strategic partnership will offer the MDA an interceptor solution that will support the warfighter and MDA’s efforts to rapidly deploy a system that complements and strengthens the existing Ballistic Missile Defense architecture," Northrop said in a statement Monday.
The MDA canceled a project to replace the Redesigned Kill Vehicle in August last year, citing technical problems.
Two bidders will now be selected to compete for the MDA's $664.1 million Next Generation Interceptor program. The Pentagon formally issued a request for proposals in April and will accept bids until July 31.
The two companies currently provide the interceptor booster, kill vehicle, ground systems, fire control, and engagement coordination for the country’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system. Together, the two companies have conducted over 40 successful exoatmospheric intercepts.
The Next Generation Interceptor could use booster missiles, and the existing approach to destroy incoming warheads by the sheer force of impact. The system is expected to also feature multiple warheads, and fit in existing missile silos. The weapon must be available by 2026.