Lockheed Martin Corp., which is awaiting word on the Pentagon’s high-stakes $30 billion Joint Light Vehicle Project, received a much smaller multi-billion dollar contract last week that will keep its Camden production facility busy for a long time.
On Friday, the Bethesda, Maryland-based defense giant received news that U.S. and allied military forces are set to upgrade key missile defense capabilities under a new $1.5 billion contract for production and delivery of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3 missiles and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement) missiles.
The contract includes PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptor deliveries for the U.S. Army, and foreign military sales of PAC-3 interceptors, associated equipment and spares for the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates, Lockheed officials said.
“The PAC-3 and the PAC-3 MSE interceptors are the most advanced, capable and reliable terminal air defense missiles in the world,” said Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of PAC-3 programs. “As threats grow in complexity, these interceptors will continue to be in high demand to protect soldiers and citizens around the globe.”
Under the Foreign Missile Sales act, or FMS, the Department of Defense may sell U.S. military weapons or equipment to allies and other friendly nations in support the nation’s efforts to prevent regional conflicts that could escalate into war.
The PAC 3 missile is a high velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft using hit-to-kill technology. PAC-3 currently provides missile defense capabilities for six nations – the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan; and Lockheed Martin is on contract with four additional nations – Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
Lockheed Martin spokesman William Sudlow told Talk Business & Politics that the Camden facility has been involved in Patriot missile integration program since 2001, and will do final assembly on the PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE Missiles under the new contract.
“These sophisticated systems have a variety of unique coatings, precision machined components, and extensive mechanical hardware and software,” Sudlow said. “Highly skilled operators use an array of robotics and automated assembly equipment to produce the missile.”
Lockheed is expected to receive word in August or September on the JLTV project.
In April, Lockheed Martin’s Grand, Prairie, Texas-based Missile and Fire Control (MFC) division was awarded a $174.7 million firm-fixed-price foreign military sales contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a close U.S. partner and Persian Gulf ally.
That contract work will also be done at the defense contractor’s production operations in Camden with a completion date of July 31, 2018.