Lockheed Martin has announced that its next-generation missile interceptor (NGI) has passed all subsystem preliminary design reviews.
The milestone, achieved through accelerated tests and evaluations, proves that the air defense system has a mature design that reduces safety risks for operators.
According to the company, a modern and transparent approach using advanced digital engineering and model-based engineering tools was utilized in carrying out the design reviews.
“Lockheed Martin is making rapid progress with our NGI solution, remaining on an accelerated schedule toward flight testing,” Lockheed Vice President of NGI Sarah Reeves said.
“Our NGI team will continue on-plan to demonstrate our revolutionary NGI architecture, leveraging mature technologies for high mission confidence.”
The American defense giant is now preparing for the next phases of NGI development, which involve the All-Up Round Review and Critical Design Review.
About the Interceptor
Lockheed’s NGI is a modern, “never-fail” weapon system designed to provide increased protection from ballistic missile threats for military and civilian assets.
It has advanced hit-to-kill technology, allowing the interceptor to collide with enemy missiles in body-to-body impact.
Apart from accurately hitting targets, the weapon system can identify missile launches, pinpoint targets, calculate its route, and guide its interceptor mid-air.
The first fully-operational NGI is expected to be delivered to the US Missile Defense Agency by 2027.
Lockheed’s competitor for the NGI program, fellow American giant Northrop Grumman, also announced that it is accelerating schedules to deliver the first prototype in 2027.
The company reportedly finished the system requirements review three months ahead of schedule, and is now in the process of carrying out a preliminary design review.
“This lays out a pathway to moving critical design review from early in calendar year 2025 to the end of 2024,” Northrop Vice President Lisa Brown said, as quoted by Breaking Defense.