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SSC next gen OPIR Polar Program completes Space Vehicle CDR

SSC next gen OPIR Polar Program completes Space Vehicle CDR

Space Systems Command (SSC) successfully passed a major milestone, completing the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Polar (NGP) Space Vehicle Critical Design Review (CDR) on April 25, 2024.

This CDR is the culmination of over 50 subsystem, mission payload, and space vehicle design reviews, and confirms the detailed design maturity and readiness to proceed with system fabrication, coding, assembly, integration, and test of the space vehicle. This major milestone for the NGP program demonstrates the space vehicle’s design will meet the northern hemisphere strategic missile warning warfighter requirements and counter evolving threats.  

“This successful CDR milestone shows the space vehicle meets standards and is on track to continue our launch planning efforts,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Laliberte, materiel leader for SSC’s NGP program.  “As a major component of our series of checks and evaluations, this success boosts our confidence the program will deliver essential capabilities to the warfighter to counter aggressive actions from U.S. adversaries. We leveraged and streamlined acquisition authorities on the Next Gen OPIR program to prototype solutions, using available industry capabilities and mature technology ensuring we can rapidly deliver improved capabilities for the warfighter.”

NGP is designed to provide a resilient space-based global missile warning capability against emerging missile, counter-space, and cyber threats, and will succeed the legacy Space Based Infrared Systems Highly Elliptical Orbit hosted program.  Next Gen OPIR continues the nation’s missile warning mission as SSC and Space Development Agency continues to develop the future resilient-missile warning, tracking and defense architecture.

“The NGP system is a critical cornerstone of our nation’s deterrence strategy, providing a strategic missile warning capability with unrivaled performance and resilience against any adversary. As China and Russia continue to modernize, our system provides the Nation with an unblinking eye that warns us of impending attacks against our homeland and our allies. It is critical to field these systems within cost, schedule and with the right technology, allowing our nation to maintain our strategic advantages in space,” said Capt. Christian Chavez, space vehicle and resiliency lead, SSC NGP program.

Space Systems Command is the US Space Force’s field command responsible for acquiring, developing, and delivering resilient capabilities to protect our nation’s strategic advantage in, from, and to space. SSC manages a $15.6 billion space acquisition budget for the Department of Defense and works in partnership with joint forces, industry, government agencies, academic and allied organizations to outpace emerging threats. Our actions today are making the world a better space for tomorrow.


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