Next-Gen OPIR: 2 steps forward, 1 step back for missile warning effort

May 6, 2024

Breaking Defense

WASHINGTON — The Space Force’s flagship but somewhat troubled missile warning satellite development program is babystepping its way toward deployment of both its space and ground segments — although the first of the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) birds may well miss its planned 2025 launch into geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) by a year.

Over the past two weeks, the Space Force announced incremental progress on two of the three-pronged program’s subprojects, but it also saw a key official’s warning to lawmakers the timeline may have shifted for the third leg.

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