Northrop Grumman Awarded $2.4 Billion by U.S. Space Force for Next-Gen OPIR Polar Missile Warning Satellites

Northrop Grumman has been awarded an undefinitized contract modification, with a not-to-exceed value of around $2.4 billion, by the U.S. Space Force for two Next-Gen OPIR Polar missile warning satellites.

“Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, California, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $2,375,000,000 undefinitized contract modification (P00013) to contract FA8810-18-C-0006 for Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Polar Space Vehicles 1 and 2”, said the contract announcement released by Pentagon.

Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $70.5 million are being obligated at the time of the award. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $2.419 billion. The U.S. Department of the Air Force (DAF)/U.S. Space Force (USSF)’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity.

This modification adds Phase One for design/development, critical path flight hardware procurement, and risk reduction efforts leading to a critical design review to the basic contract.

The contract work will be performed in Redondo Beach, California, and is expected to be completed by December 2025.

Next-Gen OPIR Missile Warning Satellites

The Space Force’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR, NG-OPIR) satellite system will provide a capable, resilient, and defensible space-based global missile warning capability against emerging threats.

Next-Gen OPIR program will succeed the current Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) by providing improved missile warning capabilities that are more survivable and resilient against emerging threats. The SBIRS program was designed to provide key capabilities in the areas of missile warning, missile defense and battlespace characterization via satellites in geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), sensors hosted on satellites in highly elliptical orbit (HEO), and ground-based data processing and control.

The first block of the Next-Gen OPIR satellite constellation consists of five satellites: three in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), called Next-Gen OPIR GEO (NGG), and two in a polar orbit (Molniya orbit), called Next-Gen OPIR Polar (NGP). Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the GEO satellites and Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the polar orbit satellites.

The Space Force is targeting the first Next-Gen OPIR launch in 2023.

Next Gen OPIR Polar Satellite
Rendering of U.S. Air Force’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) Polar, or NGP, missile warning satellite.
Next Gen OPIR GEO Satellite
Rendering of U.S. Air Force’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO), or NGG, missile warning satellite.

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