The Missile Defense Agency on Thursday awarded Lockheed Martin an $80.6 million contract to build and test modified ballistic re-entry vehicles and separation modules for missile defense tests that will be designed and produced in Huntsville, Ala.
The company will be producing unarmed re-entry vehicles for target missile tests through 2022. The contract also includes opportunity for additional vehicles and mission support.
“The re-entry vehicle is essentially the bullseye for an interceptor missile, and it is also one of the most complex parts of the target, in today’s environment, it’s incredibly important to test against threat-representative targets that look like enemy missiles, and we are proud to continue to provide that capability to the Missile Defense Agency,” said vice president of Missile Defense Programs at Lockheed Martin Space, Sarah Reeves.
“Instead of carrying warheads, modified ballistic re-entry vehicles carry sensors to measure the accuracy and effectiveness of the target, interceptor and missile defense system. Testing against a capable, threat-representative re-entry vehicle helps ensure the ballistic missile defense system is ready to detect and destroy enemy missiles,” Lockheed Martin said in a news release.
Lockheed Martin is a long-standing defense company, whose Huntsville location will be celebrating 55 years of work within the Yellowhammer State in May. The company expanded it’s presence within the state last year with the opening of their new training facility in Troy, Ala. in September.
The Huntsville facility is expected to employ over 240 people by 2020.