After securing the contract to produce the Marine Corps’ Next Generation Handheld Targeting System (NGHTS) last February, Northrop Grumman [NOC] has received a new $16.7 million order covering delivery of 51 more systems.

Northrop Grumman announced the deal last week after it was officially awarded on Dec. 6, with Marine Corps Systems Command confirming the details of the latest NGHTS order to Defense Daily.

Next Generation Handheld Targeting System (NGHTS). Photo: Northrop Grumman.

“NGHTS’ advanced technology will significantly enhance warfighters’ ability to safely complete their missions,” Bob Gough, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for navigation, targeting and survivability, said in a statement. “NGHTS is lightweight and combines four systems into one portable device with state-of-the-art imaging, targeting, ranging, designating and networking. This compact, multi-sensor electro-optical/infrared device lightens Marines’ loads and keeps them connected while adding precision and safety to their missions.”

After participating in a competitive prototype program with the Marine Corps to develop a device to replace its legacy trackers with a more lightweight, man-portable system, Northrop Grumman was awarded the NGHTS production contract in February 2022 (Defense Daily, Feb. 22 2022). 

The NGHTS production contract is worth up to $252 million and could cover up to 805 units, as the Marine Corps looks to field the new system capable of rapidly tracking targets and generating target location data during combat operations.

“With NGHTS, ground forces have the option to call in a target, transmit the precise location or use laser designation where previously the only option was to call in target coordinates on a field radio. This single, ergonomic handheld product packed with advanced targeting capabilities will enable the Marines to quickly acquire and perform guidance against targets and generate target location data during combat operations,” Northrop Grumman said in a statement.

NGHTS is intended to replace the Marine Corps’ current Portable Lightweight Designator Rangefinder, Joint Terminal Attack Controller, Laser Target Designator and Thermal Laser Spot Imager.

Ashley Calingo, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command, told Defense Daily “the scope of last February’s contract award included low rate initial production, full rate production, testing, spare parts, engineering services, logistics support, training and documentation.”

The February 2022 contract award included a low-rate initial production delivery order for 27 systems, according to Calingo.

The new $16.7 million order for 51 units is the third overall deal for NGHTS, Calingo noted, and follows a second award worth $4.8 million in August 2022 for “non-recurring engineering and production data costs.”