The Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has appointed Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles and Defense to continue developing Glot Phase Interceptor (GPI) prototypes, a next-generation combat strategy designed to protect hypersonic weapons.
Although several distinct categories of hypersonic weapons are very different, hypersonic weapons are often described as moving on Mach 5 or faster, or more than five times the speed of sound. While it is unknown what type of GPI it will take, conceptual art usually portrays an interceptor as a rocket-boosted missile, although its exact specificity is unknown.
The new contract amendment published by the MDA last week now brings the total number of contracts awarded to Raytheon and Northrop Grumman to more than $ 60 million. That funding allows contractors to develop their designs before the February 2023 review of the prototype hypersonic interceptor.
In a press conference, Northrop Grumman’s vice-president of vehicle launches, Rich Staka, said, “the GPI will play a key role in ensuring that the United States maintains the most reliable and advanced missile defense systems in the world that can pass and overcome evolving arrows.” Meanwhile, Raytheon’s announcement noted that the company would use digital engineering tools that allow faster, less expensive upgrades and build on existing systems and technologies in their design.
The MDA seeks to develop a multi-layer defense system that integrates space-based sensors, ground radar, and various military systems into a single network that will identify, track and attempt to prevent and destroy hypersonic targets.