Lockheed wins $376M Patriot upgrade deal

Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $376 million contract from the Army Aviation and Missile Command to provide hardware and related services for the next-generation of Patriot missiles.

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., will supply the Army with 12 missiles, launcher modification kits, spares and other equipment. In addition, the company will furnish program management and engineering services.

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC-3, is a major upgrade to the Patriot surface-to-air guided missile air defense system. The PAC-3 is designed to perform with more precision and lethality than the PAC-2 because it is designed as a "hit-to-kill" system rather than an exploding warhead, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

Moreover, the PAC-3 version significantly increases the Patriot's launch firepower since it is designed to handle 16 missiles rather than the four featured in the PAC-2 version, the company said. Once deployed, the PAC-3 will serve as the primary interceptor for the multi-national Medium Extended Air Defense System.

Lockheed Martin will produce the equipment at its manufacturing facilities in Dallas and Lufkin, Texas, and Camden, Ark.

Earlier this month, Raytheon Co. of Waltham, Mass., announced that it had won a $38.6 million Army contract to provide test equipment upgrades and engineering as a first step in the conversion of three Patriot Battalions, or 12 fire units, from PAC-2 to PAC-3 configuration.

Lockheed Martin has 140,000 employees and had annual sales of $39.6 billion in 2006. The company ranks No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of the largest federal IT contractors.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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