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Lockheed Martin Wins Contract with U.S. Army Modernization of Launcher Family

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Lockheed Martin
: 07 October, 2008  (New Product)
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $30 million contract to lead the U.S. Army's modernization of the M299(TM) launcher family. The modernization program calls for a multi-platform missile launcher to carry and launch the family of HELLFIRE II missiles from current and future Army rotary-wing and unmanned aerial system (UAS) platforms.
The 30-month modernization phase includes development, testing and qualification of the Lockheed Martin team's design. The contract also provides two options for low-rate initial production beginning in 2011.

The M299 'smart' launcher can recognize and fire any combination of HELLFIRE missile variants and its all-digital design allows it to be integrated with multiple platforms. It allows Warfighters the ability to engage a wide range of targets in a single mission with maximum operational flexibility on the battlefield. The modernized M299 launcher also has a streamlined logistics footprint, including line replaceable units with a 30-minute mean time repair objective, providing agility for rapid deployment and reduced costs.

'This contract reflects the continuing confidence our Army and international customers place in our M299 launcher,' said Tony Greene, program manager for M299 Modernization at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

The fabrication, final assembly and test of the modernized launcher will be performed for Lockheed Martin by Marvin Engineering in Inglewood, CA. Marvin Engineering has more Helicopter and fixed-wing launcher experience than any other U.S. contractor, and is primarily responsible for M299 Airframe production, M299 launcher integration and test, and spares production.

Lockheed Martin produces the electronics at its facility in Ocala, FL. Lockheed Martin and Marvin Engineering took over production of the legacy M299 launcher in 2000 after winning a competitive U.S. Army procurement in 1999.

The M299 launcher modernization program reduces weight on the quad-rail system on the Apache attack helicopter, the dual-rail version on the Arapaho armed reconnaissance Helicopter and provides a lightweight configuration on the Warrior UAS.

The modernized M299 will carry all variants of the semi-active laser-guided precision-strike HELLFIRE II and the millimeter-wave-radar-guided 'fire-and-forget' Longbow HELLFIRE, both fielded and combat proven; the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM), currently in competition for further technology development; and guided 2.75-inch rockets such as the Lockheed Martin-developed DAGR(TM) guidance kit that adds precision-strike capability to unguided 2.75-inch rockets already in the field.

'The M299's single-switch interoperability with Hellfire II, Longbow and DAGR provides a low-risk integration path for JAGM,' said Frank St. John, Modernized M299 Launcher program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. 'The new weapons can be seamlessly integrated into the arsenal, drawing upon an existing worldwide support infrastructure.'
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