No. 206-98
(703) 695-0192(media)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 1998 (703) 697-5737(public/industry)

(703) 697-5737(public/industry)


The Department of Defense and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's (BMDO) National Missile Defense (NMD) Joint Program Office announced today the award of the Lead System Integrator (LSI) contract for the NMD program to Boeing North American of Seattle, Wash. The contract provides $1.6 billion for a three-year development program, with options for up to seven years of continued development effort. United Missile Defense Company, of Arlington, Va., a joint venture of Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Company, and TRW, Inc., also competed for the contract award.

The LSI contract award is not a commitment to build or deploy a NMD system, nor does it signal a return to the type of large missile defense system previously under development to protect the United States against a massive missile attack. Rather, the system currently under development will consist of a limited number of ground-based interceptor missiles; space-based satellites containing sensors to detect hostile missile launches and provide guidance to the interceptors; and a battle management, command, control and communication system to provide operational control.

Boeing North American will be responsible for the design, development, testing and integration of all NMD elements into a viable system with the capability to defend all 50 states from a limited ballistic missile attack. These elements will include potential missile boosters; interceptor kill vehicles; early warning and guidance radars; the battle management, command and control system; space sensors for missile detection and tracking; system siting and environmental analysis. The contractor will then provide its recommendations to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's NMD Joint Program Office for evaluation.

The contract awarded today will provide the Department of Defense with the ability to exercise an option to deploy a fully operational NMD system, if needed, after analysis of the threat in the future. The first opportunity to make this decision will be after completion of a Deployment Readiness Review (DRR) currently slated for 2000. If it is determined there is a credible threat of ballistic missile attack against the U.S., a limited defensive system could be operational by 2003. If no threat exists, NMD systems will continue development and testing. Then, if a threat should materialize, a system could be deployed within a three-year period.

The first intercept test of a target missile in the current NMD program is scheduled to take place late this year over the central Pacific Ocean.

Contact Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, BMDO External Affairs, at (703) 604-3186 or (703) 695-8743 Ext. 6129, or the World Wide Web at