LOCKHEED MARTIN/RAFAEL JOINT VENTURE WILL BUILD AGM-142 MISSILES FOR AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
ORLANDO, FL, February 15th, 1999 -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded PGSUS LLC, a Lockheed Martin/Rafael joint venture, a contract modification for production and delivery of AGM-142 air-to-surface precision strike standoff missiles to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.
The action modifies a contract awarded to PGSUS in September 1998, covering production of up to 250 AGM-142s for U.S. and foreign military sales. The total contract value now stands at $133.3 million, with the joint venture partners sharing about equally.
Australia first announced its intention to buy the precision strike weapon for its fleet of F-111 fighters in 1996. A Letter of Agreement for the sale was signed December 14, 1998.
The AGM-142 is a highly accurate, air-launched, standoff missile effective against high value ground and sea targets. The missile can employ either a TV or a high-resolution imaging infrared seeker for around-the-clock operations. AGM-142 can close on its target either in fire-and-forget or fire-and-update modes using a highly secure data link. The system minimizes aircraft exposure by permitting launches in a variety of trajectories at standoff ranges. It employs either blast or penetration warheads. Currently carried on the U.S. Air Force B-52H, AGM-142 is a variant of the Israeli Air Force "Popeye" missile.
Work on the system is performed at Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles' facilities in Orlando, Florida, and Troy, Alabama; and at locations in Israel.
Rafael, of Haifa, Israel, is a leading developer and manufacturer of a wide range of highly advanced tactical missiles, including air-to-air, air-to-surface and ship defense systems and other battle-proven electronic and defense systems. Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles, of Orlando, Fla., is a world leader in electro-optics, smart munitions, anti armor and air defense systems, and is an operating element of Lockheed Martin Electronics Sector of Bethesda, Maryland.
The companies formed PGSUS LLC in August 1996 to jointly market and manufacture AGM-142/Popeye products worldwide. Last year, PGSUS's scope was expanded to include development, marketing and manufacturing of the Python-4 and other air-to-air missiles.