The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has released the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) request for proposal on 24 April 2020.
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The RPF aims to whittle down the proposals to two who will then compete for the right to build the interceptor that will form the core of the US missile defence system into the future.
The NGI solicitation allows contractors 90 days to provide proposals to the government beginning 1 May 2020 and calls for proposal receipt of 31 July 2020. As departmental guidance changes, adjustments for COVID-19 may occur based on real world events.
Defence news has reported that Mark Wright, a spokesman for MDA, called the RFP “a vital step forward in designing, developing, and fielding the finest capabilities of both the DoD and American industry for the extraordinarily important purpose of defending the American homeland”.
“Notably, the intention of awarding two contracts for simultaneous development of the NGI effort promotes a healthy competition between the two contractor teams to produce the best NGI possible in the shortest time feasible,” Wright added.
The MDA requested $664.1 million in fiscal year 2021 for the NGI program, as part of a $4.9 billion five-year budget plan.
This request has had its delays after cancelling the Redesigned Kill Vehicle effort in August 2019, with DoD research and engineering head Mike Griffin saying he didn’t want to keep throwing money at a program with fundamental technical issues. RKV would have upgraded the US homeland defence system’s interceptors designed to go after ballistic missile defence threats.
Speaking in March, MDA head Vice Admiral Jon Hill said that waiting that long for the new capability is “unacceptable from a warfighter view” and “unacceptable to me as a program manager”.
DefenseNews also reported Hill said once bids are on the table, the agency will be able to take a harder look at the schedule and once an award has been made, it will hold industry accountable to meet “all the wickets”. If that happens, the schedule can be pulled to the left.