GD marks Hydra production milestone

May 23, 2011 at 6:57 AM
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CAMDEN, Ark., May 23 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Arkansas said it has delivered 4 million Hydra 70 rockets to the U.S. military.

General Dynamics has been the sole manufacturer of the Hydra rocket for the U.S. military since 1996 and continues to deliver the air-to-ground rockets under a contract that will extend through April 2015 if the U.S. Army exercises all options.

"The tremendous effort to produce thousands of rocket motors per month is accomplished only through the efficiency and experience of our highly-skilled employees and our supply partners," said Russ Klein, vice president and general manager of the company's weapon systems division.

"This team effort has consistently resulted in an effective, affordable weapon for the U.S. military and our allies."

Delivery of the 4 millionth rocket was marked last week with a ceremony at the company facility near Camden, Ark.

The Hydra 70 is fired from U.S. Army's Apache and Kiowa Warrior helicopters. Assembled by General Dynamics, the rocket motor is approximately 3 1/2 feet in length and weighs nearly 15 pounds. The rocket's warhead varies to meet the wide range of mission requirements for all branches of the U.S. military.

General Dynamics and other suppliers build the various warheads, which are attached to the rocket motor either at the Arkansas facility or by the warfighter in the field.

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