Lockheed Martin has selected potential mission payload providers to compete for the US Air Force’s (USAF) missile warning satellite system.
Raytheon and a Northrop Grumman / Ball Aerospace team will compete with each other to deliver payload for the airforce’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) Geosynchronous (GEO) Block 0 satellites.
To be executed as part of the Phase I contract for the USAF satellite system, the competition includes development scope through the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase.
Under the terms of the deal, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman / Ball Aerospace will be responsible for developing detailed designing of the satellites.
A final down-select is expected to take place at the end of the CDR phase in 2020.
Lockheed MartinOPIR Systems vice-president Tom McCormick said: “Next Gen OPIR is a very important programme for our nation, with a challenging schedule, and set of technical and resiliency requirements, different than prior programmes.
“We recognise that this is a watershed programme for the airforce, and we understand the need to ‘Go Fast’ to ensure our national security posture stays ahead of emerging global threats.”
On August 14, Lockheed Martin was selected by the airforce as the prime contractor for the rapid development of the GEO system.
Next Gen OPIR is a new missile warning satellite system acquisition programme that will provide the USAF with advanced capabilities.
Designed to replace the Space Based Infrared System, the new satellites will feature increased missile warning capabilities that are more survivable and resilient against growing threats.
Lockheed Martin intends to complete the first GEO satellite delivery in five years.