Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems has been awarded more than $360 million in contracts to produce and support a key ship-defense missile system for the U.S. and allied navies, the Defense Department announced.
The company won a $226.8 million contract for fiscal 2013, 2014 and 2015 production of the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile, a supersonic ship self-defense missile developed by a consortium of NATO nations.
Raytheon also was awarded a $140 million contract for calendar year 2013 Evolved SeaSparrow support services, including in-service and technical engineering.
Future options could boost the value of the production contract to nearly $260 million, while options on the support contract could bring its total value to $237 million.
Though the number of missiles to be produced was not disclosed, at an estimated cost of about $850,000, based on Navy figures, the production contract equates to the cost of about 260 missiles.
About 84 percent of the production will go to the U.S. Navy. The rest will go to Australia, Denmark; Canada; Germany; Norway; Greece; Netherlands; Spain and Turkey, as part of the NATO SeaSparrow Consortium. Japan and Thailand also will get missiles under foreign military sales.
First deployed in 2004, the medium-range Evolved SeaSparrow is designed to counter the threat of highly agile, supersonic cruise missiles that are seen as a major threat to aircraft carriers and other warships.
The latest production version of the Evolved SeaSparrow includes recent improvements to its semi-active radar guidance with improved seeker sensitivity, increased propulsion and greater accuracy, Raytheon says.
A new version of the missile set for initial fielding by 2020 is expected to feature a new warhead, guidance upgrades and a fully active radar system.