Lockheed Martin has been awarded a US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) contract, valued at $3.7 billion (€3.13 billion), to deliver the Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI) for America’s most advanced missile defence system, the company announced on 23 March.

The contract, on which Lockheed Martin will work in partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne, is the first step in the development and demonstration phase delivering on MDA's requirements to modernise the current Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. The NGI is specifically designed to meet environmental survivability requirements, and to enable the US to outpace adversary threats for homeland defence. This 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 Alaska and California.

We have been working toward supporting never-fail missions such as NGI for decades, and our team has the expertise and shared vision required to deliver on the MDA's need to evolve GMD," stated Sarah Reeves, VP of the NGI Program at Lockheed Martin. NGI will serve as the first line of a layered missile defence architecture against evolving threats from rogue nations, and is a national priority for the MDA and US Northern Command. The first interceptor will be fielded ahead of the nation's need.

Lockheed Martin is leveraging its $580 million investment in multi-object kill vehicle technology, hit-to-kill experience on THAAD and decades providing strategic systems to the USN’s TRIDENT programme. The NGI system design provides significant enhancements from the outset, with the ability to respond to multiple threats with a single interceptor. This significant advance, coupled with a fresh approach to design for maintainability and reliability, provide the operational availability the operator requires. Cost improvements and affordability enabled by digital engineering are at the core of Lockheed Martin's design.

The first NGI interceptor missile will be delivered in advance of programme requirements, based on current scheduling. (Image: Lockheed Martin)

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