Lockheed wins $1.1 billion missile contract, Camden operations get final assembly

by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) 241 views 

Lockheed Martin’s Camden-based operations, which is awaiting final word on a bid protest for the $30 billion Joint Light Armored Vehicle contract that went to Oshkosh Defense, will take part in another multi-billion award that will deliver Patriot missiles to U.S. military forces and close allies, company officials said Tuesday.

The defense giant announced that United States and allied military forces will upgrade their missile defense capabilities under a new $1.1 billion contract for production and delivery of Lockheed Martin-built Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) missiles.

Lockheed Martin spokesman William Sudlow said the Camden facility in south Arkansas will perform final assembly of the PAC-3 missile. Sudlow could not provide details on the production and delivery schedule of the missile pact.

The contract includes PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptor deliveries for the U.S. Army, and foreign military sales of PAC-3 interceptors, launcher modification kits, associated equipment and spares for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea and Qatar.

“Our PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptors are the most trusted and capable terminal air defense missiles in the world, and we’re proud to support our customers as they protect soldiers, citizens and infrastructure from adversary threats,” said Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of PAC-3 programs. “All Lockheed Martin-built missile defense interceptors utilize advanced hit-to-kill technology enabling better accuracy, enhanced safety and improved reliability when it matters most.”

The PAC-3 Missile is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. PAC-3 provides missile defense capabilities for six nations – the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan. In addition to the three countries included under this contract, Lockheed Martin is also under contract with Kuwait.

The next-generation PAC-3 MSE missile, which has increases the range and mobility of the combat proven PAC-3, uses a two-pulse solid rocket motor that increases altitude and range to meet evolving threats.

The contract award for the nation’s largest defense contractor highlights the importance of the company’s Camden industrial site and workforce, even after losing the high-profile JLTV contract earlier this year. Now on the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) active docket, a decision on the initial bid evaluation of the company’s formal three-part protest is expected by (Thursday) Dec. 17.