General Dynamics Information Technology and Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business joint venture (JV) RGNext has secured a $502m contract to operate the US Army’s Ronald Reagan ballistic missile defence test site.

The JV will manage space vehicle and ballistic missile launches and missile defence tests carried out from Pacific Ocean Range.

RGNext will be responsible for the maintenance of launch and safety systems, as well as radar, telemetry and optical sensors on the Kwajalein Atoll.

Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services vice-president Todd Probert said: “The Reagan Test Site is used for some of our nation’s most important defence programmes, from ensuring our ballistic missiles work as designed, to proving the capabilities of our missile defence systems.

“The army chose RGNext because we are experts at safely operating launch ranges and bring deep knowledge and experience to support this critical mission.”

“RGNext remains focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of mission-critical functions for their customers.”

As part of the contract, the company will also operate the Range Operations Center and Space Operations Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the Kwajalein Mission Control Center and the Range Safety Control Center on Kwajalein.

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A total of 300 engineers, technicians and other launch professionals will be recruited by the two companies in support of the contract.

General Dynamics Information Technology Naval and Training Programs vice-president Rich Farinacci said: “RGNext remains focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of mission-critical functions for their customers.

“RGNext is prepared to help their customers modernise their legacy systems and continue to deliver solutions that advance mission performance.”

Furthermore, the JV is responsible for two rocket launch sites at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and Cape Canaveral in Florida.