Lockheed Extends Contract for M299 Launchers et. al.
The M299 missile launcher equips a number of helicopters, including the he AH-64D Apache Longbow, Britain’s WAH-64 MK1 Apache helicopters, the USMC’s new AH-1Z Viper (Cobra family) attack helicopter, Eurocopter’s Tiger scout/attack helicopter, and the SH-60B Seahawk. It weighs 145 pounds and supports 4 Hellfire II laser-guided anti-armor missiles, or up to 4 Longbow Hellfire dual guidance (laser/radar) fire-and-forget missiles, or up to 16 of Lockheed Martin’s new laser-guided DAGR 70mm rockets. Lockheed Martin produces the electronics for the M299 launcher at its facility in Ocala, FL, and Marvin Engineering in Inglewood, CA performs final assembly and test.
In late 2007, Lockheed Martin announced a $51.3 million U.S. Army contract to supply an additional 430 M299 helicopter-mounted missile launchers (402 USA, 38 foreign military sales) and 376 launcher electronic assemblies for U.S. and international forces. The contract from the US Army’s Aviation and Missile Command, at Redstone Arsenal, AL also included multiple spares, engineering services and depot support. That order extended M299 production activity in Ocala and in Inglewood until late 2011, as Deliveries were scheduled to run through the 3rd quarter of 2011.
Now a $31.3 million modification to that Bridge 3 contract award will add 298 M299s (total: 728), 134 launcher electronic assemblies (total: 510) and multiple spares to U.S. and international forces. Lockheed Martin is increasing the rate of production, and deliveries are still scheduled to be completed in 2011. The 2009 release also touts its compatibility with the resurrected JAGM missile program, which features a competition between previous competition winner Lockheed Martin and a Boeing/Raytheon partnership.