Army awards Raytheon $116.4 million contract to develop next phase of longer-range missile program

TUCSON, Ariz. The U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a $116.4 million contract to enter into the technological maturation and risk-reduction phase of the Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF) next-generation missile program. This next phase includes testing of the missile components to ensure that the design is ready for engineering and manufacturing development, along with live-fire demonstrations by the end of 2019.

The LRPF is a new, longer-range surface-to-surface weapon that Raytheon says will be able to defeat fixed land targets out to 499 kilometers (310 miles). The company also says that the newer technology will be able to fire two missiles from a single weapons pod, lower cost and increase capacity, and boost the missile's range over current systems by more than 40 percent.

Lockheed Martin, the maker of the currently used Army missile system, is also vying to develop and produce a new missile for the U.S. military and is expected to receive a similar development contract. The Army is expected to pick one contractor by 2021, with the aim of system deployment by approximately 2027.

Artist's rendering of LRPF courtesy Raytheon.