HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Two competing defense contractors, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies have submitted a joint bid for the Next Generation Interceptor, a program that will replace the current missile interceptor that protects U.S. soil from incoming foreign threats.
The Missile Defense Agency has allocated roughly $664 million for this project for the year 2021. The Pentagon has a firm deadline for the final product by the beginning of the next decade. Bidders could be notified by December if they have been selected for the project.
In a recent roundtable discussion held by both companies, speakers mentioned the threat from nations like Iran and North Korea are getting higher as the rogue nations enter space.
“Both of these nations have said they want to attack the United States. They want to hurt the United States,” said Terry Feehan, a Project Manager at Northrop Grumman.
Both companies stressed the Next Gen Interceptor (NGI) is critical, especially with rapid enhancements in technology.
“As they evolve, the defense must also evolve,” said Feeman.
The current interceptor program has been active for nearly 20-years. Of the current bidders, two will be selected to compete for the right to construct NGI following intensive testing. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon will not compete with each other. Instead, they are considered a team.
“It doesn’t matter which company you are from. If you have the right skill, you are going to do the job that needs to be done,” said Reya Mantakhab of Raytheon.
While both companies wait to see if they’ve been selected for NGI, both are already hiring the brightest STEM-focused minds for the project.
Despite being considered competitors, many faces from both companies have crossed paths in the field. The potential project leads are confident their combined abilities will land this contract for the Rocket City.
“Here we are again. Now teamed up. Best athlete approach. We are the best people for this job,” said Marissa Morrison-Ellis of Raytheon Technologies. News 19 will update this story