Northrop Grumman Awarded $475 Million Contract To Model Missile Defense, MDA Director Says No GBI Tests In ‘18

Earlier this week the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded Northrop Grumman a non-competitive contract worth up to $475 million to develop, integrate, test, and field missile defense modeling and simulation tools.

The March 5 sole source contract covers task orders from March 2018 through March 2023.

A Missile Defense Agency Ground-Based Interceptor is launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base, Calif. as part of Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor (FTG)-15. Photo: Missile Defense Agency.

A Missile Defense Agency Ground-Based Interceptor is launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base, Calif. as part of Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor (FTG)-15. Photo: Missile Defense Agency.

The MDA said the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) award includes the development, integration, testing and fielding of advanced discrimination techniques, operation and sustainment of complex modeling and simulation techniques and tools used to model Ballistic Missile Defense Systems (BMDS) capabilities.

The contract notice said work associated with discrimination is a “first-time development of advanced discrimination algorithms” and involves “highly complex software development and test requirements.”

The award will cover specialized development, operations, maintenance, testing, and integration for various MDA systems and directorates in the ballistic missile defense mission.

Funds in the amount of $10 million for Task Order 1 for program management and $143 million for Task Order 2 for BMDS development will be issued at award time.

Work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Boulder, Colo.; and Azusa, Calif.

Separately, the head of the MDA, Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, confirmed the agency has no plans to conduct any more Ground-based Interceptor (GBI) tests until calendar year 2019.

Speaking at the McAleese Defense Programs conference on Tuesday, Greaves also spoke about the importance for a new space sensor layer. He said it is needed not just to fill in gaps in ground-based radar coverage, but also to help identify and defend against future strategic threats like hypersonic and hypervelocity weapons.

Greaves said funding in the FY ’19 budget request for the new Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) and an additional Pacific Coast radar will also be useful in filling in missile defense sensor gaps. The LRDR is being developed as an additional mid-course ballistic missile sensor.

The administration’s FY ‘19 budget requested $339 million for the LRDR, $62 million to continue developing the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii, and $34 million for the additional homeland defense radar in the Pacific (Defense Daily, Feb. 13).

MDA projects the LRDR will be ready for use by 2020, the Hawaii radar by 2023, and the additional Pacific radar by 2024.





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