Northrop on track to begin early-warning missile system production

Northrop Grumman Corporation has completed a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the U.S. Space Force Space Systems Command’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Polar (NGP) program.

With this development, the company is well on track to begin production of the early-warning missile system in defense of the nation.

The system is capable of surviving attacks from space, ground or cyber elements.

The design review establishes the company’s technical approach for the full integration of the Eagle-3 spacecraft with the infrared sensor, auxiliary and high-bandwidth communication payloads being developed at our Northrop Grumman site in Azusa, Calif.

The two NGP satellites, operating in highly elliptical orbits, are designed to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles over the Northern Hemisphere.

Broad coverage over the polar region offers the highest probability of spotting potential missile launches.

NGP can identify the infrared heat signatures of incoming threats and transmit this mission data to the ground.

Based on the threat, decision-makers can then make responsive and informed decisions.

This enhanced communication system also has resiliency features that reduce vulnerabilities to counter-space and cyberattacks.

Earlier in 2020, Northrop Grumman won a $2.37 billion contract to develop two Next-Gen OPIR polar satellites with infrared sensors to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles for the U.S. Space Force Space Systems Command.

The spacecraft will travel in highly elliptical polar orbits, which gives them full-time visibility of the Northern Hemisphere.