The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a potential $480 million contract to design a second hypersonic weapon technology for the service branch.
Lockheed’s missiles and fire control business will support critical design review, test and production readiness efforts under the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon program, the Defense Department said Monday.
Work under the sole-source contract will occur in Orlando, Fla. through Nov. 30 2021.
The AF Life Cycle Management Center is obligating $5 million in fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds at the time of award.
In a separate announcement, the service said it expects to definitize the contract action within 180 days of award.
The ARRW project is among two USAF prototyping initiatives that seek to accelerate hypersonic weapons R&D and aims to reach operational capability status for the technology in three years.
The other project, called the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon effort, focuses on exploring mature technology platforms that the military has not integrated with an air-launched delivery system.
USAF agreed to cooperate with the DoD, Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army on efforts to develop boost-glide technology under a memorandum of understanding signed in late June.