The move could give General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman greater share of work

Industry has been asked for proposals by year-end on streamlining management of the USA's missile defence programmes, which could include creation of a single overall systems integrator. The move could give companies like General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman a chance to increase their share of the multi-billion-dollar effort, which is dominated by Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Ballistic Missile Defence Organisation (BMDO) director Lt Gen Ronald Kadish met company executives last week to discuss integrating the 12 programmes. "We are seeking to put together an overall integration effort for the entire missile defence programme," says BMDO, which reports say may be renamed the Missile Defence Agency.

In line with the Bush Administration's vision of a layered defence system, BMDO recently reorganised its programmes under three segments: boost defence, midcourse defence and terminal defence. Boost defence programmes include the US Air Force's Boeing-led Airborne Laser (ABL) and Space Based Laser, plus work under way to define sea-based and space-based kinetic energy boost-phase intercept concepts. The 747-400-based ABL will roll out this week.

Other missile defence programmes include the Ground-based Midcourse System (led by Boeing and formerly called National Missile Defence) and Sea-based Midcourse System (involving Raytheon and formerly called Navy Theatre-Wide). Terminal defence efforts include the US Army's Lockheed Martin-led Theatre High-Altitude Area Defence System, Patriot Advanced Capability 3 and Medium Extended Air Defence System, as well as the Navy Area programme involving Raytheon.

Source: Flight International