The Pentagon has selected the primes to further develop the US military’s advanced missile defence capability.
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Northrop Grumman and Raytheon have secured a firm fixed price other transaction (OT) agreement modification by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), enabling the companies to continue their development of the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI) system.
Each modification has a reported value of approximately US$41.5 million (AU$60 million) and extends to February 2023.
The GPI capability, which forms part of the MDA’s regional hypersonic missile defences program, is expected to enhance deterrence and defences against hypersonic missile threats.
The contract modification builds on the initial 2021 award, which entailed an accelerated concept design for a GPI prototype.
The GPI concept, which can reportedly fit into the MDA’s missile defence architecture, is being developed via a systems requirements review - prototype under this modification.
“[The] awards are an important step toward increasing the capacity of our missile defense system and providing a new capability to the warfighter,” Vice Admiral Jon Hill, director, Missile Defense Agency, said.
“GPI will play an important role in our regional hypersonic defence, and our acquisition strategy is ensuring that the department maximises innovation to keep pace with rapidly advancing threats.”
Rich Straka, vice president, launch vehicles, Northrop Grumman, welcomed the opportunity to progress hypersonic missile defence capability development.
“GPI will play a central role in ensuring the United States maintains the most reliable and advanced missile defence systems in the world that are capable of outpacing and defeating evolving missile threats,” he said.
Northrop Grumman is expected to leverage its agile processes, artificial intelligence and model-based systems engineering to offer an “affordable, low-risk solution”.