The United States Air Force will award contracts to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman; a deal that tasks the two companies to work on the Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) program. In an announcement on Friday, the Air Force mentioned that Lockheed Martin would develop geosynchronous orbit satellites while Northrop Grumman will focus on the Polar system.
The two companies although working on the same product have different tasks. Lockheed Martin is in charge of defining requirements, creating the initial design, as well as identifying and procuring hardware for a satellite that will meet the specified standard. The firm is also responsible for conducting a payload competition.
Northrop Grumman, on the other hand, is in charge of defining polar system requirements. The Air Force expects that next generation OPIR will exceed the current one regarding missile warning capabilities. The OPIR should be able to withstand threats. The Air force hopes to launch the next generation OPIR in 2023.
Lockheed Martin has yet another contract with the United States Air Force. The Air Force contracted the firm to develop a hypersonic strike weapon. The company will not only produce the weapon, but it is also responsible for designing and testing it. The contract is an estimated $1 billion.
The Air Force acted upon a warning that China and Russia have developed a missile that can penetrate through the United States Defense missiles. The Air Force expects the missile to be faster than the speed of sound.
This contract forms part of the U.S Hypersonic Strike Weapon Program. This program is one of the two programs that intend to develop hypersonic weapons. The two programs aimed at developing weapons that will later feature on United State jets.
In an email statement, Jon Snyder, the Vice President for Air Force Strategic Programs at Lockheed Martin mentioned that the company is focusing on developing high-capability hypersonic technologies, and it is a pleasure to work on the hypersonic strike weapon program.
The U.S Air Force is aiming at missiles that are very fast because of the warnings from Russia and China. They want to develop a weapon that is too fast for other defense missiles to shoot down.
President Vladimir Putin in his Nation’s Address talked about the fact that Russia’s military has developed and tested a hypersonic missile. China has also made a similar revelation. The spokesperson for the U.S Air Force, Ann Stefanek, said the Air Force is exploring advanced prototypes as quickly as possible.