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BAE continues missile component link

Feb. 3, 2012 at 1:27 PM

EDINBURGH, Australia, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- BAE Systems Australia will continue to make components for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile under a contract from U.S. company Raytheon.

The contract guarantees production work on the components in Australia through 2014.

Raytheon's ESSM was developed under a collaborative program between Australia, the United States, Canada and other NATO countries. BAE Systems Australia developed the algorithms for the ESSM enhanced home-all-the-way guidance mode, which provides a local area defense capability.

BAE Systems Australia said the new contract brings the total business value of its ESSM work to more than $400 million.

"The Australian government's decision to participate in the collaborative development of the ESSM has not only delivered a world-leading ship self-defense capability but has established Australian Industry as an integral part of the global supply chain for advanced missile systems," BAE Systems Chief Executive David Allott said.

BAE said preliminary on a Block II upgrade to the system, which would feature use of a dual-mode seeker, is under way.

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