Hellfire missile replacement contracts awarded to Lockheed Martin, Raytheon/Boeing teams

Washington DC
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

The US Army selected two competitors today vying for the Joint Air to Ground Missile (JAGM) contract to continue into the system development and demonstration phase. 

Lockheed Martin and a Raytheon/Boeing team will both complete development of a replacement missile for the Lockheed AGM-114 Hellfire and Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick.

Lockheed’s received a contract worth $122 million, while the value of the Raytheon/Boeing team contract is still undisclosed.

A single supplier will be selected after the 27-month SDD phase for follow-on development and production.

JAGM, which features a tri-mode seeker and rocket motor, is expected to become the standard air to ground missile against armored and high-profile targets. The missile is being designed to launch from helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, including unmanned aerial vehicles.

The contract awards mark the second round of the SDD phase for a Hellfire/Maverick replacement.

In 2004, the army selected Lockheed Martin to develop the Joint Common Missile (JCM), rejecting bids from separate teams led by Boeing and Raytheon.

One year later, however, the contract was terminated for unclear reasons by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Some officials within the Department of Defnese considered the anti-tank missile redundant. Lockheed maintained that the JCM programme was neither over budget nor behind schedule.

The army revived the programme in 2006 and renamed the missile as JAGM, but the same basic requirements for the missile remains.