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Next-Gen OPIR mission payload passes milestone

6th August 2021 - 13:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US requires a new space-based overhead persistent surveillance capability for strategic and tactical missile warning. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

Flight mission payload for US overhead persistent surveillance satellite is scheduled for delivery to Lockheed Martin in 2023.

Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace have successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase of the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) geosynchronous (GEO) mission payload programme.

Passing this milestone for the subsystems and payload ‘meets aggressive US Space Force and Lockheed Martin programme objectives to ensure national security posture stays ahead of emerging global threats’, Northrop Grumman noted in a 5 August statement.

With the flight design complete, the Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace team will manufacture, integrate, and test the flight mission payload scheduled for delivery to prime contractor Lockheed Martin in 2023.

As the successor to the Space Based Infrared System, Next-Gen OPIR will provide an improved, more resilient missile warning system to counter current and emerging threats.

In addition to developing a payload design for the Next-Gen GEO programme, Northrop Grumman was selected by the US Space Force to design and develop two polar-orbiting Next-Gen OPIR space vehicles.

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