Lockheed Martin‘s Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) programme has reached a milestone, showcasing the power of digital engineering in bolstering homeland defence. 

The All-Up Round Preliminary Design Review (PDR) brings the US closer to a highly capable missile interceptor.

In a week-long digital review, Lockheed Martin and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) joined forces to assess the NGI programme’s readiness, raising the bar for defence against long-range ballistic missile threats. This development signals a potential change in missile defence and could transform how we perceive homeland security.

One of the aspects of this achievement is Lockheed Martin’s embrace of digital engineering and model-based tools, which have played a role in streamlining the PDR. These tools make the programme more cost-effective and ensure the interceptor’s rapid development.

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By GlobalData

This digital approach introduces early and frequent hardware and software testing, underpinned by lab demonstrations of flight-like engineering hardware. Components, such as the programme’s threat-sensing methodology and Lockheed Martin’s flight computer, have all been validated.

The success of the PDR has solidified the Lockheed Martin NGI programme’s design work, and the next step on this path is the procurement of long-lead hardware for manufacturing flight test vehicles. The company is now on course for the Critical Design Review milestone in Q3 FY2025, continuing to explore opportunities for schedule acceleration.

Sarah Hiza, vice-president and general manager of Strategic and Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin, expressed her pride in the team’s commitment, stating: “With this additional confidence in our NGI design through a week-long digital review with our MDA customer, we are on track to deliver the right solution to meet the needs of the nation.”

With this achievement, the Lockheed Martin NGI programme’s accelerated schedule and advanced digital engineering tools have streamlined the development process. 

As the programme proceeds toward flight testing and initial production, the prospect of a more secure homeland against emerging ballistic missile threats becomes a step closer to reality, with the first Lockheed Martin NGI expected to be delivered to the warfighter as early as FY2027.

Lockheed Martin will capture a 24.5% share of the missiles and missile defence systems market in North America, with forecast revenue of $41.5bn over 2023–33, according to GlobalData’s The Global Missiles & Missile Defense Systems Market 2023–2033 report.

Lockheed Martin announced robust Q3 financial results on 17 October 2023, exceeding expectations with $2.5bn in free cash flow, predominantly returned to shareholders. Net sales increased to $16.9bn compared with $16.6bn in Q3 2022, while cash from operations was $2.9bn in Q3 2023.