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Lockheed Gets $1.96 Billion UAE Order for Missile Interceptors

Lockheed Martin Corp. received a $1.96 billion contract from the Pentagon to supply the United Arab Emirates with a missile defense system.

The order is for two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or Thaad systems that include interceptors, launchers and radar, the Pentagon said in an announcement today.

The interceptors are a centerpiece of the regional defense that President Barack Obama’s administration plans to deploy in the Middle East against Iran’s medium- and long-range ballistic missiles. Batteries of land-based interceptors would be linked with the U.S. Navy’s detection and control systems on Aegis-class destroyers and cruisers.

The UAE is the first international buyer for the Thaad system. When the sale was first proposed for congressional approval in September 2008, the Pentagon said the deal would be valued at as much as $6.95 billion if all options were exercised. In August 2010, the UAE scaled back its program by about one-third to 96 interceptors from 144.

The interceptors are produced in Troy, Alabama, and the fire control equipment and launchers are made in Camden, Arkansas. Lockheed Martin is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Raytheon Co., of Waltham, Massachusetts, provides the radar, and Honeywell Inc., of Morris Township, New Jersey, makes the missile’s mission computer. Aerojet, part of GenCorp Inc., based in Rancho Cordova, California, makes the Thaad rocket motor. The U.S. subsidiary of the U.K.’s BAE Systems Plc produces the missile seeker.

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