MDA awards new round of funding for GPI technology development

By Jason Sherman  / November 16, 2023

The Missile Defense Agency is pumping $104 million into the Glide Phase Interceptor program, awarding RTX, formerly Raytheon Technologies, and Northrop Grumman $52 million options each for competing technology development efforts to design variants of a ship-launched missile capable of protecting an aircraft carrier from a long-range hypersonic weapon.

On Nov. 15, MDA announced the contract awards, which raise the value over the last two years of Northrop’s work on GPI to $291 million and RTX’s to $293 million.

The new options fund work on GPI through mid-February 2025.

The prior tranche of GPI funding, awarded in May, was more than $80 million per company with periods of through mid-March 2024.

The objective of the GPI program is to create a new Aegis guided missile optimized to defeat a new class of ultra-fast, maneuvering weapons and give the Navy a second layer of defense against hypersonic threats beyond the Standard Missile-6.

In April, DOD leaders approved a recommendation to transition the GPI program from concept development to technology development.

In November 2021, MDA awarded Northrop Grumman, RTX and Lockheed Martin contracts to develop GPI design concepts. In June 2022, MDA elected to proceed with only Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, effectively sidelining Lockheed for the GPI program.

MDA plans to field GPI in a decade: preliminary design review is planned for 2029, critical design review in 2032 and fielding in 2034.

Pentagon leaders expect work conducted under the new contracts to provide insight as to whether the GPI schedule can be accelerated.