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Northrop Grumman selected to provide next-gen missile warning satellites

Stephen Kuper

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a not-to-exceed $2.37 billion undefinitised contract modification for Phase 1 of the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) Polar program from the US Space Force.

Northrop Grumman selected to provide next-gen missile warning satellites
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The contract modification from the USSF Space and Missile Systems Centre (SMC) covers the design and development of the first two polar-orbiting space vehicles under the Next-Gen OPIR system.

As the Next-Generation Polar (NGP) prime contractor, Northrop Grumman will provide flight hardware, ground system development and perform critical risk reduction in support of a critical design review.

Sarah Willoughby, Northrop Grumman vice president and program manager, Next-Gen OPIR, welcomed the announcement, saying, “Northrop Grumman is proud to partner with the Space Force on the Next-Gen OPIR program.

NGP is a critical element of the nation’s strategic missile warning enterprise. Its capabilities will improve support to both strategic and tactical users and better serve the National Command Authority and the warfighter.

“For more than 50 years, Northrop Grumman has supported our warfighters with overhead persistent infrared technology systems. We look forward to continuing to provide dependable, end-to-end missile warning systems through this program,” Willoughby added.

The capabilities of the NGP system address emerging threats, and resiliency features allowing the warfighter to operate through contested scenarios should they extend to space.

The program’s work will take place in Redondo Beach, California. Phase 2 of the contract award, to support production of the 2 NGP Block 0 satellites, is expected to take place in 2025.

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