AZUSA, Calif. – June 24, 2020 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Ball Aerospace’s competitive payload design has successfully passed its preliminary design review (PDR) for the U.S. Space Force’s Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) Geosynchronous (GEO) Block 0 missile warning satellites being designed and built by spacecraft prime contractor Lockheed Martin Space.

Planned to succeed the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) by providing improved, more resilient missile warning, Next-Gen OPIR Block 0 was implemented by the Department of the Air Force as a “Go Fast” acquisition program for five space vehicles, three in GEO and two in polar orbit. Lockheed Martin Space competitively selected Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace to design a potential payload for the Next-Gen OPIR Block 0 GEO program just 45 days after the program was initiated. The first GEO satellite is targeted for delivery in just 60 months.

“The successful PDR for the Next Gen OPIR payload is a significant program milestone,” said Bob Mehltretter, vice president, military and civil space, Northrop Grumman. “The payload design meets key mission performance requirements and supports the national security imperative of launching the initial Next-Gen GEO mission payload.”

With the successful completion of the PDR, Northrop Grumman will continue maturing the design of Next-Gen OPIR’s payload as it works to support the Space Force’s commitment to field new capabilities rapidly to meet evolving threats.

Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace are on track to complete the payload’s Critical Design Review in May 2021.

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