The U.S. Air Force is awarding about $45 million to Lockheed Martin [LMT], Northrop Grumman [NOC] and L3Harris Technologies [LHX] for the next step in the service’s Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) program.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman each received $15 million firm-fixed-price, research and development contracts for SiAW Phase 1.2, while the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin AFB, Fla., awarded L3Harris Mustang Technology Group LP in Plano, Texas nearly $14.6 million. L-3 Communications, now part of L3Harris, acquired Mustang Technology Group LP, a supplier of radars and other sensors, in 2017.

The SiAW Phase 1.2 contracts, which stretch through Feb. 25 next year, provide for “all activities associated with the statement of objectives as well as the contractor’s proposal for Phase 1.2,” per a DoD contract announcement on Aug. 26.

In June, Lockheed Martin, L3Harris, and Northrop Grumman said that they had received three-month Air Force contracts for SiAW, but the Air Force has yet to put out a general announcement about those initial SiAW contracts, nor to answer why the companies released some contract information, but not the amounts, before the Air Force did (Defense Daily, June 9).

L3Harris said that its Agile Development Group (ADG) is leading the company’s SiAW effort and that ADG is leveraging its digital engineering development environment, “which they developed to rapidly design, test and manufacture advanced sensors and weapon systems.”

ADG has several thousand engineers, program managers, technicians and “operations professionals” who work on military and commercial programs, the company said.

SiAW is to operate in anti-access/area denial environments to strike mobile targets, including enemy missile launchers, GPS jammers, anti-satellite systems, and integrated air defense systems.

The Air Force requested nearly $78 million in procurement for 42 SiAWs in fiscal 2023. Each SiAW, which the Lockheed Martin F-35A is to carry, would cost more than $1.5 million (Defense Daily, June 7).

Air Force plans call for fielding 3,000 SiAWs at a cost of $8.6 billion. The service’s future years defense plan calls for production of SiAW to dip to 14 in fiscal 2024 before climbing to 128 weapons in fiscal 2025 for $208 million, then dropping to 116 in fiscal 2026 and 50 in fiscal 2027.

L3Harris said that the Air Force had “originally considered an upgrade to the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) but instead opted to open the [SiAW] competition to additional companies capable of integrating weapon systems.”

Northrop Grumman is to build AARGM-ER for the U.S. Navy.

The SiAW design by Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control division is to leverage “advanced digital engineering pioneered within Skunk Works,” Lockheed Martin has said.

Near term plans call for Lockheed Martin to start building SiAW and integrating it internally and externally on the F-35A under a five-year rapid prototyping effort, the company said.