A team composed of Northrop Grumman and Raytheon has been awarded a contract by the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to proceed to the next phase of the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) program competition.
Under a $10 million, eight-month contract, Northrop Grumman/Raytheon is one of two teams chosen for the concept design phase of the program. Final award to one prime team for the development and test phase of the KEI program, valued at more than $4 billion over five years, is expected in early 2004.
The KEI program is designed to produce interceptors capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles during their boost and ascent phases of flight. This effort will reportedly augment the midcourse and terminal based interceptor programs currently underway to provide a layered missile defence architecture that will guard against potential enemy attack.
Overall responsibilities of the prime contractor will include systems engineering, systems integration and test, command and control, battle management, communications and launcher development. Northrop Grumman is leading the team and serving as systems integrator.
Raytheon is the principal subcontractor responsible for developing and integrating the interceptor and providing a significant portion of weapon systemengineering.
‘We have brought together an integrated team from across Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and our key suppliers that will provide the customer a timely and capable solution with high mission success,’ said Louise Francesconi, Raytheon corporate vice president and president of Missile Systems. ‘We at Raytheon intend to fully leverage our kill vehicle and interceptor expertise which resulted in five hit-to-kill intercepts in 2002.’