The U.S. Missile Defense Agency awarded Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman each $21 million to compete in developing a new Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI).
“This prototype award was competitively solicited through the Enhanced Hypersonic Defense Broad Agency Announcement with Glide Phase Interceptor Special Topic, HQ0851-21-S-0001. Under this award, the performer will further develop and refine their concept. Work is estimated to be completed by September 2022,” the Pentagon said in a release today.
GPI is a defensive hypersonic weapon designed to take out adversary hypersonic missiles as they glide through the Earth’s upper atmosphere at about 70km in altitude at speeds greater than Mach 5. It will be guided by a constellation of satellites and sensors.
GPI will intercept hypersonic weapons in the glide phase of flight, which occurs once a missile has re-entered Earth's atmosphere and is manuevering toward its target. The initial development phase will focus on reducing technical risk, rapidly developing technology, and demonstrating the ability to intercept a hypersonic threat.
Developed on behalf of the MDA, GPI will be integrated into the U.S. Navy's Aegis Weapon System, a ship- and shore-based defense system.