Orbital Sciences Corp. (OSC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS), has been awarded a contract, worth around $1.1 billion, to provide the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) with threat-representative subscale targets with simple and complex re-entry vehicles.
Under this new competitive fixed-price-incentive-fee contract, OSC will also provide storage, surveillance, maintenance of delivered hardware and software, and range execution of end items. The work will be performed in Chandler, Arizona, with a performance period from September 2019 through September 2027.
This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website with two proposals received. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $7.41 million are being obligated at the time of contract award.
Northrop Grumman designs and produces target launch vehicles used in the development and testing of missile defense systems. The company’s target launch vehicles include suborbital rockets and their principal subsystems, as well as payloads carried by such vehicles.
The Missile Defense Agency uses Northrop Grumman’s target launch vehicles as targets for defense-related applications such as ballistic missile interceptor testing and related experiments. These rockets are programmed to simulate incoming enemy missiles, offering an affordable and reliable means to test advanced missile defense systems.
Northrop Grumman’s family of target vehicles extends from long-range ballistic target launch vehicles, which include targets for testing MDA’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, to medium- and short-range target vehicles designed to simulate threats to U.S. and allied military forces deployed in overseas theaters.
The company’s current programs include:
+ Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) target – Air-launched IRBM targets based on technologies from proven Pegasus space launch vehicle.
+ Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target – Ground-launched variant of the IRBM target to simulate long-range ICBM threats.
+ Additional ballistic targets simulating medium and short-range ballistic missile (MRBM andz SRBM) threats
The company also produces short-range ramjet-propelled targets for the U.S. Navy, including sea-skimming and high-altitude variants, for ship self-defense exercises. During the past 30 years, Orbital ATK has built and launched more than 200 target vehicles from 11 launch sites around the world.