The Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI) prototype has entered phase 2 although its shape and payload are still unknown. Usually GPI prototypes are described as missile interceptors propelled by rockets.
The program, a “hypersonic defense interceptor” system called Glide Breaker, aims to counter highly maneuverable weapons hurtling through the upper atmosphere at speeds of at least Mach 5 or hypersonic.
The US Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has selected Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missile and Defense. The new contract modifications issued by MDA last week brought the total contract value to more than USD60 million or IDR891.4 billion.
The funding is intended to enable contractors to develop their designs prior to a February 2023 review of a prototype hypersonic GPI interceptor. “GPI will play a central role in the world’s most reliable and advanced missile defense system capable of exceeding and defeating the evolving (hysonic) missile threat,” said Northrop Grumman vice president of launch vehicles, Rich Staka. 29/6/2022).
MDA wants to build a multi-layered defense system that connects space-based sensors, ground-based radars. By deploying multiple military weapon systems together in a single network that will identify, track and attempt to intercept and destroy hypersonic targets.
Some hypersonic weapons, known as boost-glide vehicles, are much more difficult to track than ballistic missiles due to their unique flight characteristics. After the rocket boosts the hypersonic weapon to the desired speed and altitude, the vehicle is then released into the atmosphere.