American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has reportedly been eliminated from the US Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) multibillion-dollar Glide Interceptor Program.
The program seeks to develop an advanced interceptor to track and neutralize a hypersonic weapon during its glide phase.
Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon Missiles and Defense were selected last year to design the glide phase interceptor, receiving $18.95 million, $20.94 million, and $20.97 million contracts, respectively.
However, the US Department of Defense announced Friday that the MDA has only chosen Northrop and Raytheon to continue developing hypersonic weapon interceptors for the US military.
Around $41.5 million was awarded to each company for rapid prototyping.
The new contract announcement means that Lockheed Martin is out of the program. However, reports indicate that the company could be brought back in at a later date.
Will Lockheed Dispute?
Any company that does not win a defense contract after submitting proposals has the right to dispute the decision.
However, it is unclear if Lockheed will protest the selection since it anticipated that the number of companies working on the interceptor would be reduced to two as early as last month.
Furthermore, the company is working on other hypersonic projects, including the construction of scramjet-powered hypersonic missiles as part of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept.
Lockheed is also the primary systems integrator for the US armed forces’ Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon and the Conventional Prompt Strike offensive hypersonic missile.