Tag Archives: Next Generation Interceptor (NGI)

Next Generation Interceptor

Lockheed Martin recently validated prototype communications radio technology for the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) during a recent test milestone. The NGI’s mission is to protect the U.S. homeland from increasing and evolving intercontinental ballistic missile threats. Critically, the interceptor and its components must be able to receive and share data from the ground and throughout the mission across vast distances, at tremendous speed through harsh environments.

Next Generation Interceptor (NGI)
This image is an artist rendering of the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) in flight (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Through early prototype testing at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Sunnyvale, California, the company demonstrated that the interceptor’s communications system can operate through harsh and adversarial environments it may encounter during flight. This communication technology is important because it provides in-flight situational awareness enabling elements of the interceptor to effectively respond to complex threats.

«Early demonstrations like this allow us to learn as we go and manage risk», said Sarah Reeves, vice president and program manager of the Next Generation Interceptor program at Lockheed Martin. «This milestone continues the NGI team’s successful early and often testing cadence of critical technologies within our digital system design as it matures in alignment with our Developmental Evaluation Framework».

Lockheed Martin’s NGI program was born digital, using all-digital tools prior to contract award through the design and development phase. Through Agile development, the NGI team was able to rapidly create and prototype the communications capability through a focused approach on development, security, and operations (DevSecOps), reducing risk early.

The NGI team incorporated rapid prototyping, in connection with Austin, Texas, small business X-Microwave, a Quantic Company, delivering hardware platforms for software-defined radio development in weeks, rather than months, allowing for faster design evolution.

Lockheed Martin is moving with a sense of urgency, focused on continually maturing, testing and demonstrating the NGI system’s components to validate system performance. The first Lockheed Martin NGI is forecast for delivery in FY2027.

NGI program

Lockheed Martin on October 5, 2021 announced that the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) approved its Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) program’s System Requirements Review (SRR) – six months after the initial development and demonstration contract award.

Next Generation Interceptor (NGI)
Next Generation Interceptor Program Achieves Critical System Requirements Review

The MDA’s NGI program is designed to protect the United States from complex, rogue threat, ballistic missile attacks. The interceptor is an end-to-end design to detect, contain and destroy incoming threats. The SRR is a significant early program milestone, demonstrating that the company is ready to proceed with the initial system design.

«Our team has worked incredibly hard in partnership with our NGI customer team and is grateful for the opportunity to support the MDA in its mission to protect and defend the United States from intercontinental ballistic missile attacks», said Sarah Reeves, vice president of the Next Generation Interceptor program at Lockheed Martin. «We’ve invested significantly to accelerate the program to meet this national priority with increased rigor in the systems engineering expected for a capability that is critical for our collective defense».

The industry team used advanced digital engineering and model-based engineering tools for a modernized approach to the SRR, including new levels of interconnectivity. The digital tools used for the review are also used within the actual NGI program and align with the MDA’s pioneering digital engineering strategy to provide increased trust communications and transparency. This strategy will help the joint MDA and Lockheed Martin team make decisions faster, enhance security, increase affordability and integration.

The NGI will serve as a first line of a layered missile defense architecture against evolving threats from rogue nations and is critically important for the MDA and U.S. Northern Command. The first interceptor is forecasted to be fielded in 2027.

Next Generation
Interceptor

The Department of Defense has awarded two contracts to Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. in support of the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) program. With an estimated maximum value of $1.6 billion through fiscal year 2022, this contract award is structured to carry two designs into the technology development and risk reduction phase of the acquisition program to reduce technical and schedule risk. This award will ensure NGI is an efficient and effective part of an integrated Missile Defense System (MDS) solution.

Next Generation Interceptor
The MDA down selects Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. teams to deliver Next Generation Interceptor

The Missile Defense Agency awards on March 23, 2021 support the department’s goal of increased competition by funding two designs while remaining flexible to align with evolving Defense Department strategies and priorities.

«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. The department will 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 Admiral 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».