Raytheon and a team composed of Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace have been selected develop mission payloads for potential integration into a missile warning satellite Lockheed Martin will build for the U.S. Air Force.
Lockheed said Thursday it will facilitate the payload development competition, which covers development and critical design review phases, and choose a supplier for the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Geosynchronous satellite system by 2020.
The Air Force awarded the Bethesda, Md.-based company a $2.93B Next Gen OPIR development contract in August.
Lockheed noted the Northrop-Ball partnership and Raytheon demonstrated a capacity to address the program’s schedule and technical requirements.
Next Gen OPIR is designed to increase the Air Force’s with missile warning capability and succeed the current Space Based Infrared System.
The service expects to receive the first satellite within a 60-month period.