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.
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.
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.
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».