Prime contractor for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Lockheed Martin [LMT] awarded Boeing [BA] $974 million in subcontracts in 2020 to develop a next-generation seeker and continue current seekers for the air and missile defense system, Boeing said Wednesday.

The company said the seeker provides guidance data to the PAC-3 system, which is used to target hostile aircraft, cruise missiles, and tactical ballistic missiles.

Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 missile, part of the Patriot air defense capability. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The contracts cover Boeing continuing to expand production on current generations of the PAC-3 seeker, which occurs at the company facility in Huntsville, Ala.

Boeing spokesman Joshua Roth told Defense Daily the contracts were awarded over the second half of 2020, with the continued and expanded production contracts growing its production line “to deliver and sustain additional seekers per year in the near future.”

Roth noted the company recently finished construction of a 28,000 square foot expansion of its Huntsville, Ala., facility to accommodate that growth.

Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Jacqueline Lorenzetti told Defense Daily this set of awards consisted of four contracts awarded between September and November 2020 covering FY ’19 and FY ’20 seekers, expanding production of current seekers, and providing funds for upgrade development.

“Boeing is proud to continue its 20-year history of delivering seekers in support of increasing and evolving air and missile defense needs,” Robert Green, director of Boeing Integrated Air and Missile Defense, said in a statement.

“We remain committed to ensuring that the servicewomen and men who rely on the PAC-3 have ready and reliable protection today – and modernized, next-generation capabilities that can outpace, out-innovate, deter and defeat emerging threats of tomorrow,” he added.

Roth said the PAC-3 seeker upgrade includes modernized hardware and software, “enabling it to overcome evolving threats and meet expanding requirements for the system.”

Boeing said it has produced over 4,000 PAC-3 missile seekers since 2000 and recently set a new 12-month program production record in support of expanding air and missile defense requirements despite dealing with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in the workplace.