Lockheed Martin has achieved another milestone by completing the demonstration of the Next-Generation Interceptor’s (NGI) communications radio technology prototype.

The demonstration was conducted during a flight test conducted at the company’s facility in Sunnyvale, California, US.

This early prototype test validated the ability of NGI’s communication system to function in adversarial environments, which are expected to be faced during flight.

The interceptor’s communication system provides in-flight situational awareness, which allows the components of the interceptor to respond effectively to any kind of complex threat.

Lockheed Martin NGI programme vice president and programme manager Sarah Reeves said: “Early demonstrations like this allow us to learn as we go and manage risk.

“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.”

Delivery of Lockheed Martin’s first NGI is expected in the fiscal year (FY) 2027.

Last year, the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin for the NGI programme.

Once developed, NGI will protect the country from evolving intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) threats.

According to Lockheed Martin, the interceptor and its elements must be capable of high-speed data receipt and sharing from the ground and throughout the mission across far distances, even in severe environments.

The NGI team adopted a focused approach on development, security and operations (DevSecOps) to rapidly create and prototype communications capability and lower early risks.

The rapid prototyping was incorporated by Lockheed Martin’s NGI team in collaboration with Texas-based firm, X-Microwave, which delivers hardware platforms for software-defined radio development in weeks, allowing faster design evolution.