• 70°

Lockheed hits milestone

in missile production

By MICHELLE J. WILSON

Staff Writer

Published Nov. 2, 1999

A milestone was reached by Lockheed-Martin’s Troy facility when it rolled off the 1,000th missile dubbed "the most advanced Army aviation munition."

Officials of a joint missile venture for the U.S. Army’s Apache Longbow helicopter celebrated the completion of the 1,000th Longbow Hellfire Missile in a ceremony in Huntsville Friday.

Lockheed Martin’s Pike County Operations Plant completes and tests the missile guidance section.

The successful completion of the 1,000th missile is a significant milestone in the Longbow missile program, and it was assembled in Troy, said Nettie Johnson, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson.

Lockheed Martin produces the missile sensor group and provides it to Northrop Grumman’s Land Combat Systems facility at Huntsville. Northrop Grumman integrates the sensor group with its guidance group, and assembles and tests the complete missile guidance section at Huntsville.

Lockheed Martin then completed missile guidance section assembly and tests at its Pike County Operations Plant in Troy.

Missile deliveries to the Army are one month ahead of contract requirements, Johnson said. Lockheed Martin’s final assembly facility in Troy builds 165 Longbow Hellfire missiles per month, a rate expected to peak at 225 missiles per month, she said. The 1000th missile was assembled at the Troy plant Sept. 25.

"The Longbow Hellfire is the most advanced Army aviation munition," Johnson said. "The Longbow System, including both the fire control radar and the fire-and-forget Longbow Hellfire Missile, makes the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, built by Boeing, four times more lethal and seven time more survivable than previous Apache models.

"With a load of up to 16 missiles, the Longbow Apache can successfully engage and defeat several armor targets within seconds."