BAE Systems said Monday it received a $117 million contract from Lockheed Martin

[LMT] to produce new missile seekers for the latter’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).

BAE said this seeker technology allows the LRASM to detect and engage specific maritime targets in “contested environments with less dependence on traditional navigation systems.”

The company noted the new seekers will reduce overall missile costs because they are more capable and easier to procure, “with less-complicated manufacturing processes. The next-generation seekers have replaced obsolescent and limited-availability parts, dramatically reducing the system cost.”

BAE spokesman Mark Daly told Defense Daily that the company has “reduced the seeker cost by almost 40 percent since the first production lot.”

BAE said this comes after it performed design improvements conducted under a Diminishing Sources/Affordability contract, which was awarded in April 2019 and is ongoing.

Daly said this new contract was received in late April.

The next-generation seekers will be used for LRASM Lots 4 and 5.

LRASM aims to detect and destroy near- and mid-term high value surface ship combatants using technology to reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms, network links, and GPS navigation. It targets ships with an integrated air defense system that is defended via long-range surface-to-air missiles.

“We’re committed to providing affordable systems that deliver unmatched capabilities to the U.S. and its allies. We’ve designed efficient seeker systems that are easier to build and test without compromising on performance,” Bruce Konigsberg, Radio Frequency Sensors product area director at BAE Systems, said in a statement.

BAE said this LRASM contract will support missiles bound for the U.S. Navy; Air Force; allies via the Foreign Military Sales program; and research, development, test and evaluation services.

BAE conducts its LRASM seeker work at facilities in Wayne, N.J.; Greenlawn, N.Y., and Nashua, N.H.

In February, Lockheed Martin received a $414 million contract for 137 AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) in Lots 4 and 5 as part of a FMS contract with Australia. Australia uses the LRASMs on its Boeing [BA] F/A-18 aircraft (Defense Daily, Feb. 22).

U.S. LRASM missiles are delivered by Air Force B-1B and Navy F/A-18E/F aircraft.

Previously, last December BAE announced it received a $60 million contract from Lockheed Martin to build additional seekers for LRASM. At the time, BAE said it had delivered 50 seekers thus far and did not disclose the amount of additional seekers in that contract (Defense Daily, Dec. 8, 2020).