Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Boeing Co. submitted an offer to build the Next Generation Interceptor missile, the company announced on Wednesday.
The offer follows a Pentagon request for proposals in April to construct what will form the core of the U.S. homeland missile defense.
Two bidders will be selected to compete for the Next Generation Interceptor program, a five-year, $4.9 billion project of the Missile Defense Agency. The agency requested $664.1 million to begin the project in Fiscal Year 2021.
Although the announced deadline was July 31, extra time was afforded bidders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, MDA spokesman Mark Wright called the request for proposals "a vital step forward in designing, developing, and fielding the finest capabilities of both the Department of Defense and American industry for the extraordinarily important purpose of defending the American homeland."
The new missile defense shield follows the August 2019 decision to cancel the Redesigned Kill Vehicle program, meant to upgrade the U.S. homeland defense system's response to ballistic missile defense threats.
No new ground-based interceptors for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System would be built, the Pentagon announced, and all future interceptors will be part of the NGI program.
The U. S. military currently uses Raytheon's Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle, which uses a ground-based interceptor missile to boost it to an intercept trajectory. It then separates from the boost vehicle and using its own rockets to correct the trajectory, collides with an incoming warhead, known as hit-to-kill.
The replacement Redesigned Kill Vehicle program was cancelled after the Pentagon decided there were too many technological hurdles to overcome.
A contract award is expected later this year.