Boeing and Lockheed Martin will lead integration

Boeing and Lockheed Martin are soon to receive so-called national team contracts to lead integration of the USA's various missile defence programmes.

The appointment of Boeing to lead systems engineering and integration, and Lockheed Martin to lead the integrated battle management, command and control system, is intended to bring the multiple programmes together into a multi-layer shield.

The redesignated US Missile Defence Agency (MDA), formerly the Ballistic Missile Defence Organization (BMDO), is expected to award the contracts in February. The creation of national teams is intended to help the agency achieve its objective of establishing a single programme to develop an integrated missile defence system. The MDA is charged with developing the system and base lining its configuration and capability, while the services will procure and operate the elements.

Boeing chairman Phil Condit has confirmed that the MDA will establish national integration teams led by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, but says the impact on the company's existing missile defence contracts will be small.

Boeing is lead systems integrator on the Ground-Based Midcourse Defence (formerly National Missile Defence) programme, under which the next exoatmospheric interceptor test is scheduled for the end of February. As lead integrator, Boeing is believed to have recommended that the MDA selects Orbital Sciences to supply the alternate booster vehicle (ABV).

The ABV will compete with the delayed commercial off-the-shelf booster Boeing is developing to launch the Raytheon kill vehicle.

Source: Flight International