Lockheed joins Gray Wolf missile development program

By James LaPorta  |  Dec. 27, 2017 at 3:53 PM
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Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin the second deal, after Northrop Grumman, for development and demonstration of a new low-cost cruise missile called Gray Wolf.

The terms of the $110 million deal were made public by Lockheed Martin on Wednesday in announcing the five-year contract for phase 1 of Gray Wolf development.

Last week, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory awarded the same deal to Northrop Grumman as part of the program to develop the weapon.

The Gray Wolf program aims to develop a low-cost, subsonic cruise missile that can be integrated into multiple air platforms from U.S. Air Force fighter jets to bombers. Lockheed officials say the initial demonstrations will be from an F-16.

Overall, the program aims to defeat an enemy's integrated air defense system by using cruise missiles combined with other weapon systems via a connected network.

"Lockheed Martin's concept for the Gray Wolf missile will be an affordable, counter-IAD missile that will operate efficiently in highly contested environments," Hady Mourad, Advanced Missiles Program director for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in a press release.

"Using the capabilities envisioned for later spirals, our system is being designed to maximize modularity, allowing our customer to incorporate advanced technologies such as more lethal warheads or more fuel-efficient engines, when those systems become available," said Mourad.

The Gray Wolf program consists of four development phases to facilitate rapid technology prototyping and multiple transition opportunities, Lockheed said. The first phase will establish an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract relationship with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, to run through late 2019.

"Our AFRL customer will benefit from decades of Lockheed Martin experience in building high-quality, low-cost systems like GMLRS, while capitalizing on the experience of our team in developing and integrating advanced cruise missiles such as JASSM and LRASM on military aircraft," Mourad said.

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