Lockheed Martin‘s [LMT] Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite design for Block 0 of the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) program passed its Critical Design Review (CDR) on Aug. 20, U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command said on Aug. 24.

“This CDR milestone, the culmination of 34 subsystem and payload reviews, locks the space vehicle technical baseline, a key step in validating satellite design maturity and readiness to proceed with flight-unit fabrication, assembly, system integration, and test,” per SSC.

“The Next Gen OPIR GEO space vehicles integrate a new OPIR sensor with an enhanced Lockheed Martin 2100 common satellite bus,” SSC said. “Early integration demonstrations on engineering developmental units were conducted to support this CDR.  These demonstrations indicate that critical satellite components will meet the requirements established by the Department of Defense.”

The first Next-Gen OPIR GEO satellite is to launch in 2025. Lockheed Martin won the non-competitive, sole-source contract worth $2.9 billion to develop the three Next-Gen OPIR GEO satellites in August 2018 and a follow-on $4.9 billion contract in January.

Northrop Grumman

[NOC] is also building two polar orbit satellites for missile warning under Block O of Next-Gen OPIR and received a nearly $2.4 billion contract in May last year for early hardware procurement for the satellites.

Next Gen OPIR is to improve upon existing Lockheed Martin Space Based Infrared System satellites by providing a resilient missile warning capability against emerging missile and counter-space threats.

The full-up CDR system review for Next-Gen OPIR Block 0 GEO is slated for this fall.

The USSF requests more than $2.4 billion in research and development for Next-Gen OPIR in fiscal 2022, $132 million more than the fiscal 2021 enacted amount (Defense Daily, May 28).