Northrop Grumman has won a $2.4 billion contract to build two satellites that will be part of a future constellation that will warn the U.S. military of incoming ballistic and tactical missiles.
“Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, California, has been awarded a $2.375 billion contract modification for Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Polar Space Vehicles 1 and 2,” the Pentagon said in a statement Monday.
The Air Force picked Northrop and Lockheed Martin as prime contractors for its Next-Gen OPIR project two years ago. The former received over $3 billion in sole-source contracts to develop and produce three geosynchronous orbit satellites. In August 2018, Northrop bagged $47 million to begin designing the polar satellites.
Next-Gen OPIR will succeed the current Space Based Infrared System by providing improved missile warning capabilities that are more survivable against emerging threats.
The goal is to launch Next-Gen OPIR geosynchronous satellites in 2025 and polar satellites in 2027, and to deploy all five satellites by 2029.
This latest award funds the development of two satellites and early procurement of hardware. “This modification adds Phase One for design/development, critical path flight hardware procurement, and risk reduction efforts leading to a critical design review to the basic contract,” the Pentagon statement read.
Two years later, another contract for production and integration will be announced.
Work will be performed in Redondo Beach, California, and is expected to be completed by December 2025.