Lockheed Martin has entered a partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne to compete for the US Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) contract.

The move comes as MDA is seeking bids for the development of a missile interceptor system to boost the country’s defences against incoming ballistic missiles.

Under the collaboration, Lockheed Martin will be developing an interceptor designed from the ground up as an all-up-round to tackle all elements of environmental survivability.

Aerojet Rocketdyne will be responsible for powering Lockheed Martin’s primary propulsion system.

Lockheed Martin Missile Defense Programs vice-president Sarah Reeves said: “We support the MDA’s vision for NGI, particularly in light of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle termination and a fast-moving threat environment. Evolution of our deployed Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to defend the homeland is critical.

“The strength of our team comes from an understanding of how to design and sustain radiation-hardened strategic systems, the application of advanced digital engineering, and unmatched hit-to-kill performance. This includes more than 100 successful intercepts and over 50 successful target missions.”

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The company is expected to divulge the composition of the NGI team in the near term.

Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president Eileen P Drake said: “Aerojet Rocketdyne has provided propulsion on the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system since its inception, and we’re pleased to partner with Lockheed Martin on this next-generation opportunity.

“Today, we’re evolving our propulsion solutions with innovative advanced technologies to improve performance at lower costs.”

Notably, this is the second time that an NGI bid team features Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Last month, Boeing partnered with the company and General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) to pursue the contract.

The NGI contract is expected to be awarded later this year.