MDA Gives $11.1M to GD-C4 for NFIRE Launch Delay

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NFIRE General Dynamics C4 Systems, Inc. of Gilbert, AZ received a cost-plus-award fixed-fee contract modification to equitably adjust the contract for the Government-caused delay to the Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE) launch delay effort. The total estimated value of the contract modification is $11.1 million. Work will be performed in Gilbert, AZ and is expected to be complete by August 2008. $3.5 million of the funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Missile Defense Agency, Washington, D.C. issued the contract (HQ0006-02-C-0050). NFIRE is composed of a low-Earth orbiting satellite with an onboard Track Sensor Payload (TSP) and TESAT Laser Communication Terminal (LCT), plus two ground-based Mission Operations Centers (MOCs). General Dynamics notes that NFIRE will gather “near field, high resolution data that will assist in development of boost phase intercept systems.” The problem is that during the boost phase, a ballistic missile’s signature comprises both the missile body itself, and the large rocket plume that “blooms” around the missile at high altitudes to create a sort of hot smoke screen. A boost-phase kill vehicle must be able to detect and hit the missile within the plume, and better understanding of ballistic missiles’ boost-phase signature will help […]

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