LOCKHEED MARTIN and Rockwell have formed a joint company to manufacture, market and support the Hellfire laser-guided anti-armour weapon. Rockwell Tactical Systems is sole producer of the AGM-114F Hellfire I, while Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles is sole producer of the improved AGM-114K Hellfire II missile.

The two companies were previously fierce rivals, competing for missile-production batches. Lockheed Martin (then Martin Marietta) was dropped from the Hellfire I programme in 1990, when Rockwell won the US Army's "buy-out" contract, but by then had won the competition to develop and produce the Hellfire II.

The Hellfire partnership excludes the Longbow and Brimstone radio-frequency derivatives of the missile. The company will be based at Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles in Orlando, Florida.

Source: Flight International