HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Protecting the continental U.S. and Guam from missiles and hypersonic weapons are the top priorities for the Missile Defense Agency, Vice Adm. Jon Hill, the MDA director, said in an interview with Defense News.
At the top of his list is ensuring the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system is capable now and in the future of protecting the homeland from not only intercontinental ballistic missile threats from hostile nations including North Korea and Iran, but also from emerging threats such as hypersonic weapons, he said during the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.
The first ballistic missile defense system was deployed some 20 years ago, and so modernization of a system that can defend the homeland is key going forward, Hill said. MDA is working with two teams in a competition to develop next-generation interceptors to replace the current ground-based missiles in silos at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Space Force base in California.
Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are competing against Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne to build the new interceptors. The plan, Hill said, is to carry both teams all the way through critical design review.
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