Aerojet Rocketdyne Partners with Lockheed Martin for Next Generation Interceptor Programme

L3Harris segment Aerojet Rocketdyne has joined forces with Lockheed Martin to deliver advanced propulsion capabilities for the US Missile Defense Agency’s Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) programme. This collaboration supports the US Department of Defense’s mission to establish a robust initial line of defence against long-range ballistic missile threats.

In April 2024, Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to develop the NGI platform, triumphing over Northrop Grumman. The Missile Defense Agency anticipates the delivery of the first interceptor from this programme by 2027.

“Our propulsion technology has powered the nation’s missile defence for decades,” remarked Christopher Kubasik, CEO and Chair of L3Harris. “As the industry-leading propulsion provider for all [Missile Defense Agency] interceptor programmes currently in production, our team possesses the expertise required to supply this specialised propulsion to defend the homeland from evolving threats.”

The NGI Programme

In August 2023, Lockheed Martin announced that its NGI model had successfully passed all subsystem preliminary design reviews. A year prior, the company showcased the future interceptor’s radio-based communications system, demonstrating its capabilities in austere environments.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were awarded a $1.6 billion contract in 2021 to begin the NGI procurement’s technology development and risk reduction phase.

“NGI plays a crucial role in our homeland defence, and our acquisition strategy ensures the department maximises innovation to keep pace with rapidly advancing threats,” stated the Pentagon during the NGI design announcement. “NGI is the result of the first comprehensive technical assessment of homeland defences conducted by the department since initial system operations began in 2004. Once deployed, this new homeland defence interceptor will be capable of countering anticipated threat advancements well into the 2030s and beyond.”


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