The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded two firm fixed-price Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) modifications to continue the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI) prototype development.

The modifications have been awarded to Raytheon Missiles & Defence and Northrop Grumman.

Each company has received an estimated amount of $41.5m for the latest modifications.

Under these modifications, both the companies will continue to refine and develop their concepts resulting in a System Requirements Review—Prototype.

The expected performance period is through February next year.

According to Raytheon, the company will continue maturing its GPI design using advanced materials and technology required to intercept a hypersonic threat.

The latest award has increased the OTA value to $62m and this phase will finalise support accelerated development timelines and systems requirements.

MDA director VADM Jon Hill said: “Today’s awards are an important step toward increasing the capacity of our missile defence system and providing a new capability to the war fighter.

“GPI will play an important role in our regional hypersonic defence, and our acquisition strategy is ensuring that the department maximises innovation to keep pace with rapidly advancing threats.”

The latest modification is a follow-on to the initial MDA’s OTA that was awarded to complete an accelerated concept design of GPI.

The contracts were awarded to Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missiles and Defense in November 2021.

MDA’s GPI is being developed to intercept hypersonic weapons in the glide phase of flight.

The interceptors will be fired from Navy aegis ballistic missile defence destroyers, using standard vertical launch system (VLS).

It will provide an additional layer of defence to the US and its allied nations against regional hypersonic missile threats.