ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin has received a $29 million production order from the U.S. Army for the combat- proven precision-strike HELLFIRE(R) II air-to-ground missile. The order represents the final option under the U.S. Army's HELLFIRE II Buy 13 contract, which at $305.9 million is the largest single buy in the history of the HELLFIRE II program.
The final exercised option for Buy 13 is for 431 rounds, bringing the total number of rounds ordered under the contract to 4,622. The additional rounds are scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, and the United Kingdom through a foreign military sale, beginning in 2008. The U.S. Army's Buy 14 production order is scheduled to be executed in 2008, with quantities yet to be determined.
Lockheed Martin performs all work on behalf of the HELLFIRE Systems, Limited Liability Company and will produce the missiles at its manufacturing facilities in Troy, AL, and Ocala, FL.
"This contract reaffirms HELLFIRE's proven position as the world's premier air-to-ground weapon system," said Ken Musculus, program director, Air-to- Ground Missile Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Capable of launch from multiple platforms and available in three warhead variants, HELLFIRE II continues its legacy as a highly lethal anti-armor and multi- purpose weapon that defeats a wide range of targets."
The Buy 13 order will sustain full-rate production through 2010, both in Troy and Ocala. Engineering, logistics and program management support are based in Orlando.
The HELLFIRE II production contract includes three variants: the high- explosive anti-tank missile (AGM-114K), used against armored targets; the blast fragmentation missile (AGM-114M), effective against ships, caves, light armored vehicles, buildings, bunkers and other urban targets; and the metal augmented charge missile (AGM-114N), which provides an enhanced blast fragmentation effect against enclosed structures and enemy combatants.
All three missile configurations, as well as the fire-and-forget, adverse- weather-capable millimeter-wave radar Longbow HELLFIRE(TM) (AGM-114L), have been used successfully by U.S. and U.K. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 6,800 rounds have been fired from several platforms, including the U.S. Army's Apache and the Marine Corps' Cobra attack helicopters, the Kiowa scout helicopter, the U.S. Air Force's Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and the UK Army Air Corps' Apache aircraft.
"Of particular importance is HELLFIRE's precision-strike capability," Musculus said. "This has allowed our forces to defeat insurgents in urban conflicts with minimal collateral damage and low risk of harm to friendly forces and civilians."
With more than 21,000 rounds produced for the U.S. and 13 international customers, HELLFIRE II has been successfully integrated with every leading attack helicopter in the U.S. and many Allied fleets. It is also capable of surface launch from several ground vehicles, tripods and small vessels.
HELLFIRE II is approved for international sales both through the foreign military sales system and direct commercial sales.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.