Future Trends

MDA Must Reach Initial Operational Capability for Hypersonics Interceptor by 2029

Hypersonics defense

MDA Must Reach Initial Operational Capability for Hypersonics Interceptor by 2029

Congress is urging the Missile Defense Agency to field hypersonic missile defense systems more quickly and reach initial operational capability before the end of the decade.

Part of the fiscal year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act is for MDA to reach IOC for the Glide Phase Interceptor by 2029, a few years earlier than the agency’s estimated fielding period. Provisions under the NDAA mean that MDA must, by 2029, prove that GPI is capable of countering hypersonic missiles and that the agency must have at least 12 interceptors by the deadline.

GPI must also reach full operational capability by 2032 instead of the original target date of before 2040. Full operational capability means that GPI must be capable of being operated in tandem with future space-based or terrestrial sensors, Defense News reported Monday.

The U.S. government has been looking to speed up hypersonic platform testing in recent months, with the latest development involving an international partner.

Earlier in December, Heidi Shyu, the Department of Defense’s chief technology officer and a 2023 Wash100 winner, said the United States and Australia are planning to engage in joint hypersonics experiments by 2024. Hypersonic platform development is the second phase of the trilateral U.S.-U.K.-Australia agreement.

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Category: Future Trends

Tags: 2024 National Defense Authorization Act Congress Defense News Future Trends hypersonics interceptor Missile Defense Agency