GBU-12 LGB's

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin for follow-on production and delivery of paveway II laser guided bombs (LGBs).

Valued at $34.1m, the deal represents the majority share of a $56m paveway II plus LGB procurement, and forms part of an original $475m five-year, firm-fixed-price, multiple-award contract announced by the air force in August 2011.

Under the new contract, the company will manufacture and supply an undisclosed number of GBU-10 MK-84, GBU-12 MK-82 and GBU-16 MK-83 series LGB guidance kits to the air force.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business precision guided systems senior manager Joe Serra said: "Body The Lockheed Martin paveway II Plus LGB guidance kits significantly improve weapon accuracy and reduce risk to US and allied ground forces when employed in place of legacy paveway II weapons."

The bombs will be equipped with a MAU-209C/B computer control group (CCG) featuring the electronic guidance system and associated air foil groups, which provide lift and stability to the weapons.

The upgraded variants of the Lockheed’s legacy paveway II weapons feature advanced integrated combined hardware and software solutions to significantly enhance accuracy and also lower battlefield risks to troops.

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Manufacturing work under the contract is expected to start at the company’s facility in Archbald, Pennsylvania, US, in early 2014, while the delivery schedule has not been disclosed by the company.

Lockheed became the qualified paveway II MK-80 series LGBs provider in 2001, and to date has delivered over 65,000 LGB kits to the USAF, US Navy and several foreign customers for deployment during military operations worldwide.

Image: US Navy armourers loading GBU-12 LGB’s onto an F-14B Tomcat aircraft. Photo: courtesy of United States Navy, Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Danny Ewing Jr.