The Department of Defense issued 12 new contracts Friday, worth a combined $521.1 million. At just $67.7 million, the one won by Javelin Joint Venture wasn't the biggest ... but it just might be the most interesting.

On Friday, the Javelin Joint Venture between Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) won its second partial-foreign military sales contract in the past four months. The last such contract, issued in May and valued at $53.4 million, had the LockMart/Raytheon joint venture supplying an unspecified number of Javelin Block I Tactical Missile Rounds to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and also to the militaries of Jordan and Indonesia. Friday's contract is both larger, and more specific.

Wc Javelin

A "Javelin" is bigger than it sounds. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Twenty-seven percent bigger than the May contract, Friday's award specifies that it aims to procure 260 Javelin rounds for the U.S. Navy -- and more likely for the Marine Corps -- as well as for the militaries of Jordan and Indonesia (again), and also for Oman. The contract also procures "command launch unit" retrofits for the missile's launchers. It implies a purchase price of approximately $260,000 per each missile round. 

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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