A joint venture by General Dynamics [GD] Information Technology (GDIT) and Raytheon [RTN], Range Generation Next (RGNext), won a $502 million award to operate the Army’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Kwajelin Atoll for 10 years.

The contract was awarded in September, but on Monday the companies revealed more details about the contract work.

Sensors at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site (RTS) at Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. (Photo: U.S. Army)
Sensors at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site (RTS) at Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Under the award, RGNext will maintain the test site’s launch and safety systems to manage space vehicles, ballistic missile launches, and missile defense tests conducted from sites in the Pacific Ocean test range that encompasses 750,000 square miles.

This work will specifically entail maintaining the site’s radar, telemetry, and optical sensors on the Kawjelin Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The joint venture will also operate the Range Operations Center and Space Operations Center in Huntsville, Ala.; the Kwajelin Mission Control Center on Kwajalein; and the Range Safety Control Center on Kwajalein.

Work will occur in Huntsville, Ala., and the Kwajelin Atoll and is expected to be finished in October 2028.

“The Reagan Test Site is used for some of our nation’s most important defense programs, from ensuring our ballistic missiles work as designed to proving the capabilities of our missile defense systems. The Army chose RGNext because we are experts at safely operating launch ranges and bring deep knowledge and experience to support this critical mission,” Todd Probert, vice president at Raytheon intelligence, information and services, said in a statement.

GD and Raytheon, combined, have hired over 300 engineers, technicians and other personnel to support the new contract.

“RGNext remains focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of mission critical functions for their customers. RGNext is prepared to help their customers modernize their legacy systems and continue to deliver solutions that advance mission performance,” Rich Farinacci, vice president of vaval and training programs at GDIT, said in a statement.

General Dynamics declined to provide any further details about the award.

RGNext also manages the U.S. Air Force space launch ranges in Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The joint venture is responsible for operations as well as depot-level and organizational maintenance and sustainment of systems to support launch, testing, and tracking of various DoD, civil, commercial, and international spacelift vehicles. It also supports aeronautical, guided weapon, and ballistic missile tests and evaluations.

The U.S. Army received four bids for this contract solicited via the internet, but did not disclose the other competitors.

Bechtel and Lockheed Martin [LMT] were the incumbent contractors, operating through their own partnership joint venture, called Kwajelin Range Services from 2002 to 2018.

A Bechtel website said this partnership “provided integrated range engineering and logistics services to manage and operate this crucial test site for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.”

Kwajalein Range Services employed over 1,600 employees across 11 sites, with 2,500 permanent residents on Kwajelin. This includes 1,200 employees of Bechtel and Lockheed Martin’s joint venture.