The US Space Force’s (USSF) Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (NGG) Block 0 programme has passed system-level critical design review (CDR).

The CDR was conducted by Lockheed Martin and the USSF on 28 October.

It focused on the space and ground segments’ integration, as well as the NGG’s interim operations ground system integration with the legacy missile-warning system.

The latest milestone shows that the programme is on schedule, with the launch of the first NGG satellite set to take place in 2025.

The USSF’s new and advanced space-based missile warning system, NGG, protects the US and its armed forces by providing improved and more resilient missile warnings.

NGG was implemented by the US Department of Defense (DoD) as a ‘Go Fast’ acquisition programme with the company.

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Lockheed Martin NGG Block 0 vice-president and programme manager Joseph Rickers said: “Our adversaries are finding ways to make missile warning more difficult. They are also posing threats to space assets themselves.

“NGG was specifically designed as a ‘Go Fast’ programme to maintain and grow our nation’s advanced technology edge ahead of the threat.”

Lockheed and the USSF are developing and building three satellites that seek to provide improved missile warning capabilities as part of the NGG Block 0 programme.

Raytheon and a Ball Aerospace-Northrop Grumman team are also competing to provide the Block 0 payloads, for which NGG completed CDRs.