The US Air Force (USAF) has contracted Lockheed Martin to continue producing Paveway II Plus Laser Guided Bomb (LGB ) kits.

The follow-on Paveway II Plus LGB kits production contract is valued at $131m.

The contract is the ninth consecutive year the company has been selected to provide a majority share of LGB kits in the annual competition.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Precision Guided Systems director Joe Serra said: “The US Air Force and its foreign military sales partners realise significant savings in their defence budgets with our affordable and combat-proven LGBs.

“This innovative and cost-effective guidance package supports greater precision for warfighters.”

“This innovative and cost-effective guidance package supports greater precision for warfighters.”

Production of the guidance kits and air foil groups (AFGs) for GBU-10 (2,000lb) and GBU-12 (500lb) LGBs is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

The Afg includes extending wings to provide lift and stability, Lockheed stated.

The Paveway II Plus includes an advanced guidance system that converts conventional gravity bombs into precision-guided munitions.

The guidance package inside the MAU-209C/B computer control group (CCG ) ensures more bombs on target.

The weapon is guided by a semi-active laser seeker and pneumatically controlled canards and can be used on USAF, US Navy and international aircraft authorised to carry and release LGBs.

Lockheed Martin has been a qualified supplier of Paveway II LGB kits since 2001 and has delivered more than 100,000 kits to customers.