ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin says its long-range artillery shell for future U.S. Navy destroyers is transitioning from development to production.
The transition is being readied under an $18 million contract from the National Warheads and Energetics Consortium, which serves as the academic and industrial component of the U.S. Department of Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium.
The contract covers the development of production line tooling, test equipment and initial production manufacturing process plans for the Long Range Land Attack Projectile.
"This contract represents a significant step towards fielding LRLAP to support the Navy's requirement for surface fire support," said Richard Benton, program manager for LRLAP at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Fire support to troops deployed ashore is a critical capabilities gap, which LRLAP fills with precision lethality."
The LRLAP is a 155mm shell fired from the Advanced Gun System for the U.S. Navy's next-generation DDG 1000 destroyer. Its purpose is to provide fire support to troops ashore from a stand-off distance and with minimal collateral damage. It features an advanced rocket motor and hardened electronics, including a global positioning system and inertial measurement unit for navigation.