Lockheed Wins $52.9 Million Robot Sub Contract

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) landed a sizable Pentagon defense contract Tuesday.

The contract, worth $52.9 million, hires Lockheed to integrate, test, and maintain Lockheed's new Remote Minehunting System into the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Mission Package. Lockheed will also tailor the system to work aboard each of the two LCS seaframes -- that of Lockheed's own Freedom-class LCS and also that of the Independence-class LCS built by General Dynamics and Austal.

Lockheed describes its RMS as designed to perform mine reconnaissance within the MCM Mission Package. This involves deploying a Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) off the side of a LCS, and sending this small robotic sub out into a minefield to locate and identify dangerous mines -- so that the LCS need not put itself in danger. Lockheed says that once deployed, its RMMV can operate independently for 24 hours before needing to return to its mothership.

Lockheed is expected to perform its contracted work by May 2016.

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