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Lockheed tapped by Navy for rapid missile technology development

The company was awarded an $84 million contract for design and development work on the JASM, LRASM, JAGM and Hellfire missile systems.

By
Ed Adamczyk
U.S. Air Force Major Jacob Rohrbach, a pilot assigned to the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, releases the first Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range, or JASSM-ER, from an F-16 over the Gulf of Mexico in September 2018. Photo by Master Sgt. Michael Jackson/40th Flight Test Squadron/U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force Major Jacob Rohrbach, a pilot assigned to the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, releases the first Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range, or JASSM-ER, from an F-16 over the Gulf of Mexico in September 2018. Photo by Master Sgt. Michael Jackson/40th Flight Test Squadron/U.S. Air Force

March 13 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. was awarded an $84.1 million contract by the U.S. Navy for design and engineering services on four existing missile systems, the Defense Department announced.

The contract, awarded to the company's Missile and Fire Control division in Orlando, Fla., was announced on Tuesday. It calls for design and development studies, technology demonstrations and engineering services for rapid technology development of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile and the Hellfire baseline weapon systems.

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Lockheed Martin has previously been awarded contracts to develop all four missile systems..

Last month the company was awarded a $33.4 million contract as part of a cost reduction initiative in support of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile for the U.S. Navy.

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The contract includes the redesign, integration and test of radio frequency sensors. The LRASM is a long-range precision guided missile designed to autonomously detect and engage enemy warships based on their image recognition, infrared, radar and other sensor profiles.

In September 2018, Lockheed received a $51 million contract for development of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, which included all-up round level systems, engineering, testing and integration services of the JASSM-XR hardware and associated firmware, including a new missile control unit and necessary hardware and infrastructure to support production.

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In the same month it received a $49.6 million modification to an existing contract for the purchase of Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles, a precision air-to-surface standoff strike missile designed for use by drones, helicopters and similar aircraft.

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The JAGM system can operate in bad weather and attack fixed and moving targets and is designed to be resistant to jamming and other countermeasures. The system has a terminal guidance system that provides a "fire-and-forget" ability, allowing the launching platform to fire and immediately evade any enemy fire. It uses laser and millimeter wave radar guidance, with a range of up to five miles.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control also received a $547.9 million contract in 2017 for the production and delivery of over 7,000 Hellfire II air-to-ground attack missiles and their containers.

The Hellfire is an air-to-ground short-range precision guided missile for use on helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. It uses a laser-guidance system that can either be directed by a laser targeting pod on the launching aircraft or a separate laser designator used by ground forces or other aircraft.

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Work on the new development contract is expected to be completed by March 2024.



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