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Northrop Grumman Next Gen Interceptor passes PDR

Northrop Grumman’s Next-Generation Interceptor all-up round has successfully completed its preliminary design review (PDR) a year early.

Northrop Grumman’s Next-Generation Interceptor all-up round has successfully completed its preliminary design review (PDR) a year early.

Working in partnership with the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), this milestone is a major acceleration of the Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI) program and the integrated air and missile defence capability.

The PDR established the technical approach for the full integration of Northrop Grumman’s interceptor design across all its subsystems to move into more advanced phases of development.


Lisa Brown, vice-president, Next Generation Interceptor program, Northrop Grumman, welcomed the milestone achievement, saying, “The Northrop Grumman NGI PDR demonstrated our technology, innovation, readiness, and performance. We put actual hardware in the hands of the MDA, backed by a digital representation.”

A key requirement for this milestone is demonstrating that the design would maintain full capability while surviving challenging environments.

“Next Generation Interceptor holds global strategic importance, which is why production and manufacturing readiness continues to play a central role in our Next Generation Interceptor solution,” Brown added.

Wendy Williams, vice-president and general manager, launch and missile defense systems, Northrop Grumman, expanded on these comments, saying, “We are doing everything we can to accelerate our schedule while maintaining the deep technical rigour for which we are known. Northrop Grumman is committed to delivering this crucial capability into the hands of our warfighters as soon as possible, while meeting the key mission requirements.”

Northrop Grumman’s team provided on-site interactive demonstrators for review by MDA, including a full-scale solid rocket motor, avionics, and other test hardware. The Next Generation Interceptor team’s strategic partner, Raytheon, provided kill vehicle hardware used during environmental testing, plus sensor hardware and kill vehicle hardware that supports manufacturing fixtures and test equipment.

Jennifer Gauthier, deputy president, air & space defense systems for Raytheon, said, “Our team is building on decades of experience designing and delivering proven exo-atmospheric interceptors. As a part of this review, our high-fidelity simulations demonstrated how Next Generation Interceptor’s multiple kill vehicles will perform in the extreme conditions of space, defeating an increasingly advanced set of missile threats.”

Northrop Grumman’s NGI system will provide enhanced technical capabilities that would be used to defend the US homeland from intercontinental ballistic missile threats as part of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system.

Following the successful completion of PDR, Northrop Grumman will continue maturing its NGI design on the path to its critical design review, which is expected to be completed ahead of schedule.

The Missile Defense Agency and Northrop Grumman expect the first operational Next Generation Interceptor to be deployed as early as 2027.

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