The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin [LMT] at $78 million contract for modernization and upgrades to the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), the company said on Wednesday.
The contract is set to take hardware from early-production ATACMS Block 1 missiles and “develop an enhanced and affordable weapon system capable of eliminating targets without the risk on unexploded ordnance,” the company said. These factors are to meet the Army’s long-range precision strike requirement.
The first phase of the program is to include flight tests followed by production in 2016.
ATACMS is a tactical long-range precision strike surface-to-surface weapon used by the Army. Over 560 missiles have been fired in combat and it has high rates of accuracy and reliability, the company noted.
Each ATACMS missile is bundled in a Guided Missile Launch Assembly pod and fired from Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers.
Lockheed Martin has produced over 3,700 ATACMS missiles for over 20 years.
“ATACMS is extremely reliable and effective, and has proven itself over and over again in combat,” Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in a statement. “These upgrades ensure ATACMS is ready to meet our customers’ needs now and in the future.”
The work will be performed at the Camden, Ark., and Dallas Lockheed Martin facilities.