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Next-Gen OPIR GEO / Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared GEO

The Air Force announced 04 May 2018 its intention to award two sole-source contracts for the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program. The first contract will be sole-sourced to Lockheed Martin Space to define requirements, create the initial design and identify and procure flight hardware for a satellite to operate in geosynchronous orbit. The second contract will be sole-sourced to Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems to define polar system requirements.

The Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) are accelerating global missile warning capabilities for the warfighter, the American people, and its allies by embracing rapid space acquisitions via a transformation to what it calls “SMC 2.0.” SMC’s Space Development Corps’ Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) mission area has embraced SMC 2.0 by serving as an Air Force “pacesetter” program leading the charge to rapidly acquire and deliver global missile warning to warfighters through rapid acquisition. Next Gen OPIR Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) is the next evolution of the legacy Space Based Infrared System program that will provide a capable, resilient, and defensible space-based global missile warning capability against emerging threats.

Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) provides initial warning of a ballistic missile attack on the U.S., its deployed forces, or its allies. SBIRS also supports missile defense, technical intelligence, and battlespace awareness missions. The architecture consists of satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) and Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), ground segment, relay ground stations, and a mobile ground system. Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) is the successor to SBIRS. Goals of Next-Gen OPIR include: field resilient capability for operations “through” contested environment, address emerging adversary advances in rocket propulsion technology, deliver strategically-survivable missile warning layer starting in FY23 (Block-0), and complete a modernized ground system that includes Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE). Space segments will now be acquired utilizing a rapid block approach to deliver strategically survivable missile warning beginning in FY23.

In December 2017, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) validated an initial set of requirements for development of a resilient architecture while the Capability Development Document (CDD) is under development. Next-Gen OPIR Block-0 will fulfill the interim JROC requirements set. Next-Gen OPIR Block-I will deliver full CDD-based capabilities and architecture. The Government is also looking to grow Space Modernization Initiatives (SMI) Demonstrations with a new on-orbit prototype to burn down Block-I risk.

The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Remote Sensing Systems Directorate (SMC/RS) is soliciting proposals through the use of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) (see FAR 35.016) to identify innovative concept(s) for a Next-Gen OPIR Block-I payload and a derivative prototype payload design along with a candidate bus, defined Ground interfaces and mission unique elements required to form the Block-I Prototype Payload Tailored Preliminary Design Review.

In developing Next Gen Block-0, the government will prioritize schedule, driving the space vehicle design to incorporate high technology readiness components in order to minimize the program’s schedule risk. In parallel, SMC/RS will begin exploring payload concepts for the follow-on system, Next-Gen OPIR Block-I, which is a completely separate program of record than Block-0. The initial launch capability (ILC) goal for Block-I is 2030.

Under this announcement, the Government seeks to identify what performance and resiliency parameters are achievable with component technologies currently under development that may not be incorporated into the Block-0 design due to current technical maturity levels and development schedules. Offerors will be asked to develop a set of feasible Block-I system requirements based on technology readiness assumptions, which will provide feedback to the Capabilities Development Document (CDD) development process.

Based on these requirements, offerors shall develop achievable Next Generation Block-I payload concepts, along with an early prototype version of the proposed concept. Prototype payload concepts shall focus on a few proposed high risk areas to incorporate advanced component technologies as well as threat mitigation components and techniques to reduce Block-I payload development time, assembly and integration risk, mature component technology/ manufacturing readiness levels (TRL/MRL), and inform future Missile Warning and Missile Defense (MW/MD) architecture and Concept of Operations (CONOPs). The results of this announcement shall inform the scalability of the prototype concept to enable the transition of capabilities, technology and CONOPS to the Next Generation OPIR Block-I Program of Record (PoR).

After this BAA contract period of performance, the Government intends to carry out a follow-on acquisition to develop, build, test and launch an integrated SV Block-I prototype to demonstrate advanced technology capability on-orbit with an ILC range of 2025-2027. The offeror shall propose an ILC based on component readiness and prototype payload design development schedules.

The government is interested in maximizing the use of Modular, Open System Architecture design principles to: 1) allow adaptation for evolving requirements and threats, 2) provide the ability to integrate new capabilities without redesign of entire systems or large portions thereof 3) accelerate transition from science and technology into acquisition and deployment, 4) reduce the development cycle time and total life cycle cost and 5) maintain continued access to cutting edge technologies and products from multiple suppliers. Additionally, the government is interested in ways to incorporate on-orbit servicing and refueling compatibility methods and/or concepts.

Identify critical technologies for insertion into a prototype payload design that will enable an evolution in capability from Next Generation OPIR Block-0 (reference System Requirements Document, Attachment A). The prototype payload design will be demonstrated on-orbit with an ILC range of 2025-2027. Define assumptions (e.g., TRL/MRL) for payload component development schedules. If TRL/MRL of proposed components is not at level 6, define a maturation plan to reach level 6. Technologies of interest include, but are not limited to, Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs), onboard processing, processing algorithms for advanced performance and threat resiliency, multi-spectral technology and processing algorithms, Filters, Limiters, Coatings, auxiliary payloads (e.g. threat warning sensors, laser crosslinks), and secure communication links. The classified version of Attachment A will be provided, upon request and after clearance verification.

The government was seeking innovative resiliency approaches to mitigate optical threats. Threat mitigation techniques may include passive (e.g. limiters, coating, filters, etc.) or active (e.g. threat warning sensors). Reference Target and Reference Threat details are provided in the draft Next Gen Blk-0 GEO TRD (Attachment A), the Gov’t Summary of the Directed Energy Threat Assessment and the Project West Wing Advanced Target Summary (Attachment C); the classified versions will be provided, upon request and after clearance verification.

The government is interested in minimizing integration risk for the Next Generation Block-I program. This includes payload subsystem integration and test, integration of the payload on to a candidate space vehicle, and integration of the space vehicle into the ground system architecture. In particular, identify design elements which enable low-risk integration. For ground integration, define ground system interfaces to integrate into the Future OPIR Resilient Ground Enterprise (FORGE)/Enterprise Ground System (EGS) given the provided requirements as a baseline.

The Government anticipates that the proposed prototype payload can be hosted on a mature bus design with minimal development. Ground assumptions are provided in Attachment E. The integrated prototype SV (Prototype Payload and candidate bus) shall have an ILC within the range of 2025-2027. An ILC date shall be proposed by the contractor based on achievable performance and resiliency attributes: first, identify performance, optical resiliency attributes, and space defense resiliency capabilities that may be achieved for an ILC of 2025; then, identify additional capabilities that may be achieved with an ILC 2027 based on later component technology availability and technical maturation (reference SMI Tech Needs and White Papers). Offerors should assume the Block-I system will have survivability and autonomy requirements as it relates to the current threat environment. Although the prototype is not explicitly required to have survivability and autonomy requirements, the prototype sensor is expected to include those elements that enable such capabilities in the Block-I system.

The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Remote Sensing Systems Directorate (SMC/RS) solicited proposals through the use of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) (see FAR 35.016) to identify innovative concept(s) for a Next-Gen OPIR Block-I payload and a derivative prototype payload design along with a candidate bus, defined Ground interfaces and mission unique elements required to form the Block-I Prototype Payload Tailored Preliminary Design Review.

The Department of the Air Force, Space and Missile Systems Center, Remote Sensing Systems Directorate (SMC/RS) on 14 August 2018 awarded a sole source contract [FA8810-18-C-0005] to Lockheed Martin Space with a Base and All Options Value of $$2,935,545,188.66 to acquire the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) Space Vehicles 1-3 (NGGs 1-3). The action was executed as an Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA) for requirements analysis, design/development, critical path flight hardware, early manufacturing, and risk reduction efforts leading to a System Critical Design Review (CDR). The second contract action (Phase 2) will be awarded as a modification for the manufacturing, assembly, integration, test and delivery of NGGs 1-3.

This action was made pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), as implemented by FAR 6.302-1(a)(2)(ii). Based on market research, only Lockheed Martin Space has the ability to meet NGG 1's Initial Launch Capability (ILC) date of Fiscal Year (FY) 2025, and award to any other source would result in an unacceptable schedule delay in fulfilling the Air Force's urgent fielding requirements and substantial duplication of cost to the Government that is not expected to be recovered through competition. The attached Justification & Approval (J&A) authorizing the sole source award of contract FA8810-18-C-0005 is being made publicly available within 14 days of contract award IAW FAR 5.301(d)(1) and FAR 6.305(a). The J&A will remain publicly available on FBO for 30 days IAW FAR 6.305(d).

SMC’s Space Development Corps and prime contractor, Lockheed Martin (LM) Space, completed a Next Gen OPIR GEO System Requirements Review (SRR) for Next Gen GEO-1/2/3 space vehicles on 5-7 March 2019. They accomplished two separate main mission payload System Design Reviews (SDR) with Lockheed Martin’s subcontractors Raytheon on 4-5 April 2019 and a Northrop Grumman-Ball Aerospace team April 11-13. In order to reduce schedule and technical program risks, LM has the two mission payload subcontractors designing, developing, and prototyping missile warning sensors in a competitive environment to maximize the use of parallel design, development, and test processes. The two payload suppliers were selected in September 2018, just 45 days after the Next Gen OPIR program started, further embracing the program’s rapid acquisition requirements. The recent successful completion of the SRR/SDRs demonstrated a solid understanding of the mission, requirements, current design, risks and plans for work moving foward, enabling the Next Gen OPIR GEO program to proceed with preliminary design activities. Subject to funding decisions, the program remains on track to achieve a GEO space vehicle delivery by Fiscal Year 2025.

“The biggest improvement to Next Gen OPIR GEOs-1/2/3 is fielding a more robust global missile warning system with greater sensitivity, responsiveness, and resiliency to be capable of operating in contested environments to maintain space superiority into the 21st century,” said Lt Col. Leroy Brown, Jr., deputy chief of SMC’s Space Development Corps’ Next Gen OPIR Division. “These enhancements will ensure the missile warning constellation continues to provide resilient, survivable, and endurable missile warning as the foundation to deterrence for our nation.”

Next Gen OPIR GEOs-1/2/3 will leverage the LM 2100 common satellite bus that is used across multiple Lockheed Martin programs and mission areas. The LM 2100 has recently been enhanced to add capabilities that benefit multiple mission areas to include OPIR. Bus enhancements include elimination of obsolesence and insertion of modern electronics in multiple subsystems, as well as increased resiliency capabilities that are all appilicable to the Next Gen OPIR mission.

The concept of agile acquisition is central to SMC 2.0’s vision of delivering innovative, war-winning capabilities. It will require a culture change at all levels of Air Force space, from the SMC systems engineering processes all the way through the training paths Space Operators will need to navigate to operate these new missile warning systems and capabilities. The combined Government and contractor team is maintaining great momentum and addressing risks early to maintain rapid program execution.

“The Next Gen OPIR team is embracing SMC 2.0 because we have to be focused on faster deliveries through enhancing enterprise, integration, partnerships, innovation, culture (EPIC) and speed to accelerate capabilities to warfighters,” said Col Frederick Hunt, Chief of SMC’s Space Development Corps’ Next Gen OPIR Division. “The combined team has been taking calculated risks to accept fast failure and fast learning with EPIC speed and will serve as the model for every single mission we support across SMC and represents the future of space acquisitions.”

The SRR/SDRs were led by SMC’s Space Development Corps and attended by observers from the Air Force Space Command, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisitions, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Lockheed Martin Space, and other stakeholders. During the reviews, SMC Space Development Corps’ Program Office formally declared Lockheed Martin demonstrated the design maturity required to authorize the continuation of preliminary design review efforts for Next Gen GEOs-1/2/3.

SMC’s Space Development Corps manages the Next Gen OPIR GEO program. Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, is the prime contractor; Raytheon, El Segundo, California and a Northorp Grumman Ball-Aerospace team, Azusa, California, are the payload developers. Raytheon is one of two contractors selected to design the payload for its Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared, or Next Gen OPIR, resilient missile warning satellite. Next Gen OPIR Block 0 will succeed the Space Based Infrared System by providing improved, more resilient missile warning. The U.S. Air Force implemented Next Gen OPIR Block 0 as a “Go Fast” acquisition program with Lockheed Martin. The first geostationary orbiting satellite was targeted for delivery in just 60 months. Raytheon’s contract covers development through system critical design review. Designed with open system architecture, Raytheon’s Next Gen OPIR Block 0 payload can accommodate rapid and affordable performance upgrades.

Page last modified: 01-07-2021 14:31:46 Zulu