Army taps Lockheed Orlando for $140 million in contracts

From guided weapons to missile radars, Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Orlando missiles group has received three Army contracts – two of them involving foreign military sales - together worth nearly $140 million, the Pentagon said this week.

Hundreds of jobs are tied to the work at Lockheed's operation in southwest Orlando – it's oldest and largest in Florida.

First, the Army tapped Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control Orlando for an $80.7 million deal to expand its existing production of Apache helicopter navigation and missile targeting systems for Indonesia. Terms call for the work to be completed by July 31, 2018.

Known as Arrowhead, the Apache system is one of the largest military programs at Lockheed's Orlando missiles unit, which employs more than 4,400 in Orlando and nearly 1,000 in Ocala.

Another major Lockheed program in Orlando – the Hellfire missile – drew a $28.4 million foreign military sale this week, extending Lockheed's missile production for Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Indonesia. Work on the latest order is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2016.

With the U.S. defense budget under sequestration and deficit-reduction pressures, Lockheed and other U.S. defense contractors have increasingly bolstered their revenues with sales to allied countries.

Lockheed's Longbow LLC venture with Northrop Grumman Corp. landed a $25.2 million contract addition to produce radar electronics, unmanned aerial communications and other technology for the Longbow Apache helicopter. Terms call for the work to be completed by July 31, 2015. or 407-420-5256

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