MDA Can Accelerate Next-Gen Interceptor: NORTHCOM Nominee

July 30, 2020

Breaking Defense

The nominee to take over Northern Command (NORTHCOM), Lt. Gen. Glen VanHerck, says he believes the Missile Defense Agency is taking steps that will speed acquisition of the Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI) to guard against a capability gap, as well as provide an “under layer” as backup.

“I’m encouraged, and will continue to work with the committee, the Missile Defense Agency, and the Department to minimize any gap,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday during his confirmation hearing.

VanHerck explained that he discussed the issues last week with Vice Adm. Jon Hill, MDA’s director, noting that Hill “is looking forward” to receiving next month industry responses to the April 24 request for proposals for NGI.

“I’m optimistic based on my discussions with Jon Hill, that we’ll potentially see the Next-Generation Interceptor move further left and not have the significant gap that you’re referring to,” he said in reply to questions from Sen. Deb Fischer. The Republican Senator from Nebraska represents Vandenberg AFB where (along with Alaska) the aging interceptors making up the US Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System are housed.

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