The U.S. Department of Defense today selected Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin to compete head-to-head in a competition to build the military’s Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI).
The new interceptor will replace ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California designed to defend the U.S. against ballistic missile attacks from Iran and North Korea.
A team consisting of Boeing, General Atomics and Aerojet Rocketdyne had also submitted a bid to build the NGI, but was not chosen to continue on in the effort. Boeing managed a previous interceptor program that was canceled in 2019 after costing $1.2 billion.
The selected companies have each been awarded $1.6 billion through fiscal 2022. The total value of the Northrop and Lockheed contracts is estimated to be $3.9 billion and $3.7 billion respectively.
The NGI program is an element of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA)’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense System (GMD) which is the primary U.S. missile defense system used to defend the country from long-range ballistic missile attacks. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles & Defense currently provide the interceptor booster, kill vehicle, ground systems, fire control and engagement coordination for the country’s GMD system.
The companies will perform technology development and risk reduction of the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) All-Up-Round capable of surviving natural and hostile environments while countering emerging threats. “Allowing a technology development phase will help ensure that the NGI is an efficient and effective part of an integrated Missile Defense System solution by permitting the department to further analyze requirements and make necessary adjustments in preparation for the product development phase,” a March 23 Pentagon statement read.
Lockheed Martin said, “This $3.7 billion contract will develop the interceptor all-up-round, which includes both the booster and hit-to-kill payload and will launch from the current GBI silo infrastructure in Ft. Greely, AK and Vandenberg AFB, CA.”