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Pentagon Awards Lockheed Martin Defense Contract for New Laser Weapon

By Rich Smith – Mar 1, 2014 at 7:15AM

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The High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator is getting ready for demonstration.

The Department of Defense awarded 30 separate defense contracts Friday, worth a total of $1.99 billion. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT 1.42%) won two of them, including what was perhaps the most interesting contract awarded all week.

Lockheed's smaller contract win yesterday was a $10.8 million contract modification instructing the firm to perform post-delivery support on the littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5). Lockheed Martin will plan and implement changes in design that were deferred during the vessel's construction. It is expected to wrap up work on this contract by October 2015.

The company's larger contract win, worth $25.2 million, came in the form of a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to design, develop, fabricate, test, and deliver to the U.S. Army a 60-kilowatt spectrally combined high-power fiber laser that will be used in the Army's High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, or HEL MD, program.

The Army describes HEL MD as a weapons system that will be used to destroy incoming rockets, artillery, mortars, and hostile unmanned aerial vehicles in the air, and that can also be used to explode unexploded ordnance (including IEDs) on the ground. The Army anticipates installing the system on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, with the "shooting end" being contained in a 360-degree swivelable, dome-shaped turret mounted atop the truck.

Delivery of the test laser is due Dec. 27, 2016, at which point it will be tested on Army and Department of Defense test ranges and at other outdoor locations.

Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lockheed Martin. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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