Lockheed Reaches Next-Gen Interceptor Milestone Ahead of Schedule

Lockheed Martin has announced the completion of a Missile Defense Agency (MDA) acquisition milestone for its Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) three months ahead of schedule.

The company said it completed the stage for the US’ modernized long-range ballistic missile interceptor in November.

The stage, known as the first Knowledge Point (KP1), is a major contractual step to further develop the NGI program toward Critical Design Review.

The MDA evaluated Lockheed’s progress, including design review and maturation of critical technologies, manufacturing readiness, and interceptor flight software.

First NGI by 2027

“I’m proud of the technical rigor our Lockheed Martin and industry team demonstrated. We proved at KP1 that we have reached a level of maturity unprecedented at this stage of a missile defense program,” Lockheed VP of NGI Sarah Reeves said.

“With MDA’s approval, we have turned a corner into our detailed design phase and will keep testing our integrated NGI hardware and software in preparation for production and flight testing.”

Lockheed continues to stay ahead of schedule for the next engineering milestone.

Current efforts center on “building ground test vehicles and virtually flying the interceptor during system integration trials, enabled by our digital engineering tool suite,” the company stated.

The first NGI is scheduled for delivery as early as 2027.

Recent NGI Progress and Future

Lockheed Martin announced in August that the NGI had passed an all subsystem preliminary design review, proving the air defense system’s mature design reduces operator safety risks.

Two months later, the company announced the completion of its All Up Round Preliminary Design Review, which assessed readiness and maturity to continue into the detailed design phase.

In November, the company inaugurated a $16.5-million engineering hub in North Alabama to integrate additional capabilities to support the NGI program.

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