Jul 2, 2022 11:54 GMT
The decision by the Missile Defense Agency means that Lockheed Martin, which had also been vying for a contract, has been removed from the multibillion-dollar program for now.
Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman have won contracts with Washington to further develop a defense system capable of intercepting hypersonic missilesas reported last Friday by the US Department of Defense, pick up Reuters.
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded a contract for up to $62 million to Raytheon and another of up to 60 million dollars to Northrup for each of them to continue developing hypersonic weapon interceptors.
The decision means that Lockheed Martin, the country’s number one defense contractor, which had also been in the running for a contract, has been removed from the multibillion-dollar program for now, though it could re-enter later. As in any defense contract, the companies that have not won have the right to protest the measure.
In November last year, the three companies achieved separate contracts for about 60 million dollars to develop an interceptor guided by a constellation of satellites and sensors to intercept a hypersonic missile within the Earth’s atmosphere as it moves toward its target.
In turn, a recent report by the US Government Audit Office revealed that MDA’s internal cost estimates for creating an interceptor system ranged between 3.7 and 4.2 billion dollars with accelerated financing. The congressional defense budget bill for 2023 includes funds to accelerate the development of the program, but that bill has not yet been finalized.