Four of the United States’ largest defense contractors have submitted bids to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop a next-generation missile interceptor capable of defeating ICBMs.

Raytheon Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co. all are competing for multiple 32-month study contracts for the MDA’s Next Generation Aegis Missile (NGAM) program, the firms announced. Bids were due Nov. 12.

The new interceptor is part of the White House’s so-called phased adaptive approach for defending European allies and deployed military forces. Formerly dubbed the SM-3 Block 2B, NGAM will be based on land and at sea aboard U.S. Navy Aegis ships by around 2020.

Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz., is the incumbent contractor; it built the current-generation SM-3 Block 1A and SM-3 Block 1B interceptors and is working on the larger SM-3 Block 2A interceptor. Raytheon spokeswoman Nicole Stewart said Nov. 12 the company submitted its bid for NGAM.

Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing all issued press releases the week of Nov. 8 announcing their bid submissions.