What is the US Dep of Defence Mentor-Protégé Programme?

Meet three of the small businesses helping supply a new Lockheed Martin missile system as part of the US Department of Defence Mentor-Protégé Programme

The Department of Defence (DoD) Mentor-Protégé Programme (MPP) gives incentives to major DoD contractors like Lockheed Martin to collaborate with smaller organisations to enhance their capabilities to perform as subcontractors and suppliers under DoD Contracts and other Federal Government and commercial contracts.

Lockheed Martin is currently progressing the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) missile project, and is working with three small businesses to strengthen the supplier base for future programmes, which encourages prime contractors to serve as mentors in developing their capabilities.

The US Missile Defence Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a total of three contracts that will run up to two years. Lockheed Martin are partnering with Marotta Controls, Space Information Labs, and Valley Tech Systems to support the development of advanced engineering and technology capabilities. Being part of the project helps also diversify the supply chain. 

“The Mentor-Protégé Programme allows us to reduce barriers for small businesses; when small business wins, we all win,” said Sarah Reeves, vice president of NGI at Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin believes in the strength of this programme, so we are mentoring three different companies and supporting them throughout our NGI development.”

Who are the small businesses working on NGI?

Marotta Controls is a family-owned small business specialising in sub-systems for the aerospace and defence sectors, based in Montville, NJ.

“Marotta Controls is privileged to join Lockheed Martin’s Mentor-Protégé Program. As a small business, Marotta Controls understands the importance of support from the premiere defence contractor. We look forward to our continued growth as an agile partner delivering on our mission to support the warfighter and our nation’s defence,” said Patrick Marotta, President & CEO.



SIL is a woman-owned small business that designs, manufactures, and environmentally qualifies Li-Ion Intelli-Pack® Batteries, AFTU and Space Based Range flight units for multi aerospace platforms, based in Santa Maria, CA.

“SIL is honoured to be selected by Lockheed Martin through the Mentor-Protégé Program to increase our capability to produce and deliver various critical technologies for national security programs,” said Edmund Burke, SIL President & Founder.

VTS, powered by Voyager Space, is a small business specialising in aerospace propulsion, based in Folsom, CA and Reno, NV.

“Valley Tech Systems is excited to be selected by Lockheed Martin as a protégé under the DoD Mentor Protégé Program. Lockheed Martin’s mentorship will add depth and robustness to our engineering, manufacturing, supply chain and mission assurance processes— enabling VTS to accelerate the application of our advanced controllable solid propulsion technology to enhance homeland defence and protect our warfighters,” said Phil Csik, VTS Program Manager.

What is the NGI Programme?  

The Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) program is a project by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to develop a better defence system against long-range ballistic missiles. They want to replace the current system with a more reliable and efficient interceptor that can handle evolving threats and be more cost-effective. The goal is to have a next-generation interceptor that can protect the United States and its allies from missile attacks and is an important part of the U.S. defence strategy.

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