Raytheon has secured a $375 million contract from the US government to develop a miniature self-defence missile (MSDM) that will form part of an aircraft’s defensive suite.

The work involves researching and developing a flight-test-ready missile, says the US Department of Defense in a contract award. It adds that two other bids were received for the project.

In January 2016, the US Air Force awarded Raytheon a contract worth up $14 million to research and develop new missiles, including MSDM.

The MDSM would help to counter advanced long-range missiles such as China’s PL-15 and Russia’s Vympel R-37, both of which could engage vulnerable support aircraft such as airborne early warning and control system platforms and tankers.