Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Raytheon has been awarded a contract to cover the remaining materials and spares to start low-rate initial production of the U.S. Navy's Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile.
The contract, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, is valued at $190.5 million and covers materials and spares for ESSM Block II production, which includes the remaining materials to support three production lots of the missile.
The ESSM Block II is an international development program between the Navy and 11 other NATO-member nations to upgrade the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow Missile. Development of the ESSM started in 2014, with improvements dual-seeker head that employs semi-active and active guidance.
Raytheon started transitioning to full production of the new ESSM in May 2018, and NATO successfully tested it in June 2018. Raytheon also received a $97.7 million contract for long-lead material to support low-rate initial production this May.
Roughly half the work under the new contract will be conducted in Tucson, Ariz., with the rest spread around the United States and several other countries, for which the Navy has already obigated just over $200 million.
Work on the contract is expected to be completed by March 2023.