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Pentagon Spends $53 Million on Missiles for Army, USMC, Foreign Militaries

The Department of Defense awarded more than $562 million worth of contracts Wednesday. Among the larger contracts issued was a firm-fixed-price contract awarded to the JAVELIN joint venture between Raytheon  (NYSE: RTN  )  and Lockheed Martin  (NYSE: LMT  ) .

This contract, estimated at $53.4 million in maximum value, pays for the supply of an unspecified number of Javelin Block I Tactical Missile Rounds for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps, and also for supply to the militaries of Jordan and Indonesia. Rounds supplied to the foreign militaries are considered to constitute a foreign military sales contract.

The FGM-148 Javelin is a man-portable, heat-seeking "fire and forget" light anti-tank weapon, meaning that a soldier or Marine who has fired it at a target does not need to remain "locked on" to the target, but can maneuver after firing to avoid counterfire from the enemy. The missile homes in on its target's heat signature independently.

It should not be confused with the British missile of the same name, which is used as a man-portable surface-to-air missile -- although the U.S. Javelin can also be used to target low-flying helicopters.

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