Army awards network missile deal

On March 22, The Army awarded a $40 million contract to a joint venture company of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co. to design and develop a networked missile system for the service's next generation of manned and robotic air and ground vehicles.

The Future Combat Systems' Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System will use computer and fiber-optic networks to fire two types of missiles from a box on the battlefield. They include the loitering attack missile, which flies until it finds a target, and the precision attack missile, which soldiers program and guide to its target.

The $40 million contract awarded to Netfires LLC of Dallas covers a six-year period and could be worth $1 billion, according to a Raytheon statement. "By leveraging our companies' expertise in targeting, command and control, and precision attack, we can provide the Army with cutting-edge solutions for the Future Force," said Ric Magness, Netfires' president, in the statement.

The launch system has previously been known as Netfires or missiles-in-a-box.

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