Missile Defense Targets and Countermeasures
There are several contractors that intend to compete for this Missile Defense Agency (MDA) program, including Lockheed Martin [LMT], Boeing [BA], Northrop Grumman [NOC], Orbital Sciences [ORB] and Spectrum Astro.
This program is designed to create a one-stop-shop for MDAÃs targets and countermeasures needs, to work in conjunction with all major development and test efforts within the agency. The selected prime contractor will be responsible for overseeing a great number of activities to test various components of the layered missile defense system against increasingly more sophisticated targets with countermeasures.
The idea behind this program is to test missile defense systems against the most stressing and complex targets and countermeasures so that the operational missile defense system can defend against such enemy capabilities in actual combat.
There is no foreign participation in this program
This program has been in the works for some time as critics of missile defense continually have criticized the program for not testing systems against sophisticated targets and countermeasures. Over the next year, however, MDAÃs efforts in this area are expected to get more visibility, though much of the technology and work in this area is highly sensitive. The Targets and Countermeasures program is envisioned to incorporate more stressing flight tests into the overall missile defense program and the selection of the prime contractor for targets and countermeasures to oversee that work. More than a year ago, Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, director of MDA, approved a strategy for selecting a prime contractor to oversee the agency's efforts in the targets and countermeasures arena. The overall strategy takes a variety of medium-sized targets management efforts for all the missile defense systems and combines them under one office. Under the plan, MDA plans to select one contractor for designing, developing, prototyping, procuring, testing, qualifying, certifying, integrating, presenting and reporting on the performance of target, payload and component systems. MDA by this fall is expected to release the request for proposals (RFP) for its targets and countermeasures prime contractor program. Then, it plans to award a four-year contract in the fourth quarter of FY '03 valued at $400 million to $500 million per year. The release of the RFP has been stalled for a few months while MDA adjusted the program plan based on industry input following the draft RFP. Drafts of the RFP reported the selected prime contractor will be responsible for planning and executing all aspects of the ballistic missile defense targets program to include systems engineering and integration, advanced concepts and new development, product acquisition, range integration and launch services, logistics support and system-wide business operations and program management.