Space Force Reviews Northrop, Raytheon Payload Designs for Missile Warning Satellite Program

The U.S. Space Force has reviewed the designs of two mission payloads Raytheon Technologies and the Northrop GrummanBall Aerospace team separately proposed to a missile warning satellite program.

The service branch concluded its preliminary design reviews under a competitive payload acquisition effort to address scheduling risks for the first Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program, the Space and Missile Systems Center said Friday.

Lockheed Martin secured a potential $2.93B contract in August 2018 to build three Next Gen OPIR space vehicles intended for geosynchronous Earth orbit and subsequently tapped Raytheon and Northrop as potential mission payload providers.

“Our next steps are the build and test of engineering design units, or EDUs, and procurement of critical flight hardware for the first space vehicle delivery in 2025,” said Col. Daniel Walter, program manager of the Next OPIR Space Segment.

SMC plans to test one mission payload from each provider on the first two satellites. The Next Gen OPIR platform is designed to succeed the Space Based Infrared System.

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