Raytheon Technologies has been chosen to deliver a second mission payload for the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Block 0 missile warning satellite system (NGG).

Selected by Lockheed Martin, the company will design the payload for the third next-generation OPIR Geosynchronous Earth Orbit constellation.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract to develop three survivable NGG satellites for the US Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC).

The satellites will be built with improved missile warning and resiliency capabilities to deal with emerging threats.

Lockheed Martin also chose Northrop Grumman/Ball Aerospace for the creation of mission payload designs.

Both the companies are already under individual contracts to deliver one mission payload for the three-satellite procurement.

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The payload designs from both competitors have finished the design phase and are ready for lift-off onboard the first two NGG satellites.

It has not been decided as to which payload will be aboard the first NGG satellite that will be launched in 2025.

Lockheed Martin NGG programme vice-president Joseph Rickers said: “For this ‘Go-Fast’ programme, both teams had to meet stringent schedule and performance requirements, which they’ve done.

“I want to congratulate and thank both teams for their tireless work and we look forward to the first flights of both the mission payloads.

“These advanced OPIR payloads will support the critical mission by leveraging technologies with new capabilities on an aggressive schedule.” 

Under this rapid acquisition programme, both competitive payload teams were contracted for 45 days after the prime deal was secured by Lockheed Martin in 2018.

The teams concluded their preliminary design reviews in 2020 and design reviews last year.

Their advanced payloads will eventually be merged into Lockheed Martin’s resilient LM2100 Combat Bus space vehicle.

Both teams have also finished the environmental testing of their payload engineering development units.

On 28 October 2021, Lockheed Martin and the USSF conducted the system-level critical design review (CDR) of the NGG Block 0 programme.