UPDATE 1-Lockheed eyes long-range missile interceptor work

* Lockheed seeks contract to develop missile interceptors

* Lockheed would take on Raytheon, largest missile maker
(Adds Raytheon comment, background, byline)

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON, Aug 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: )
said it will vie for a potential multibillion-dollar contract
to develop a new generation of missile interceptors that has
been largely the realm of Raytheon Co (RTN.N: ).

“We believe we have a very strong position” to build a
long-range interceptor that would work with Lockheed’s Aegis
weapons system, John Holly, vice president of of the company’s
missile defense systems business unit, told reporters on
Wednesday.

Raytheon, the world’s biggest missile maker, said it
believed it can offer “the best, most affordable and timely
solution for this critical capability.”

Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3, or SM-3, is a linchpin of
current U.S. and Japanese sea-based missile defense efforts.
The United States plans to use a future version, dubbed SM-3
IIB, on land-based Aegis weapons systems in the coming decade
as well as at sea.

“We have the depth of technical expertise and the
infrastructure to deliver SM-3 Block IIB,” Ed Miyashiro, a
Raytheon vice president and deputy general manager for the
program, said in an email to Reuters.

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency plans to award three
“concept definition” contracts for the new interceptor, each
worth about $45 million over three years, in coming months,
Holly said.

Army Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly, the MDA chief,
told reporters last week that the agency planned to select one
of the projected three competitors in 2013 or so to develop the
new missile and put it in production as part of a 10-year
development program.

The typical cost to develop such a system is abut $2
billion, O’Reilly told Reuters, not including production.

Boeing Co (BA.N: ), another potential competitor, had no
immediate comment on whether it too would seek the work.

Raytheon has designed and produced Standard Missile
variants for the last 40 years. It is already at work on an
SM-3 upgrade, the Block IB, that is expected to be
flight-tested next year. In addition, it is co-developing and
co-producing with Japan a more advanced version called the
Block IIA.
(Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Richard
Chang)

UPDATE 1-Lockheed eyes long-range missile interceptor work