US Military indicators deal to backfill Stingers despatched to Ukraine

UPDATE This story was up to date to incorporate info from the official Pentagon contract announcement launched at 5:00 p.m. and an announcement from Raytheon.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Military has awarded a $624.6 million contract to Raytheon Applied sciences to construct Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to restock its personal provide after sending roughly 1,400 Stingers to Ukraine to bolster the nation’s protection in opposition to the Russian invasion.

“Work areas and funding shall be decided with every order, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2026,” the Pentagon’s contract announcement Friday states. Reuters was first to report the contract award, anticipated for a number of weeks.

Raytheon will construct 1,300 new Stinger missiles, in keeping with an announcement issued shortly following the contract announcement.

“The contract contains provisions for engineering assist, in addition to the take a look at tools and assist wanted to deal with obsolescence, modernize key parts, and speed up manufacturing,” in keeping with the corporate assertion.

Stinger and Javelin have been in high-demand in Ukraine as efficient means to repel Russia’s invasion. The Pentagon has the Stingers and despatched greater than 5,500 Javelin anti-tank missiless since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, amongst different protection materiel.

Congress this month handed a $40 billion spending bundle for Ukraine that authorizes the Biden administration to ship one other $11 billion in U.S. navy tools to the nation; the bundle contains $8.7 billion to backfill shares already despatched.

The Military hasn’t purchased any Stingers since 2005 because it begins an effort to design the following era of man-portable anti-aircraft missile whereas upgrading its present stock.

The Military mentioned previous to Friday’s information that it will be awarding a contract to Raytheon to deal with the Stinger’s most important out of date half, its dual-detector meeting, a spokesman for the Military’s acquisitions workplace advised Protection Information. The Stinger’s dual-detector seeker makes use of infrared and ultraviolet sensors to find targets.

The Military is also engaged on a proposal to make use of superior procurement {dollars} to purchase long-lead elements and supplies for superior munitions “in full coordination with” the undersecretary of protection for acquisition and sustainment, the spokesman mentioned.

Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes has mentioned his firm could not have the ability to make extra Stingers till at the least 2023 and, as a result of some parts are not commercially out there, the agency must redesign electronics within the missile’s seeker head.

The Pentagon additionally lately issued a contract award of $9.9 million to Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to switch a preexisting contract for Javelin anti-tank missile engineering providers as a part of the hassle to replenish shares of that weapon, which can be being despatched to Ukraine in massive numbers.

The award follows two different contract modifications made this month value $239 million and $309 million for Javelin manufacturing to be accomplished by late 2025 to backfill shares despatched to Ukraine but in addition provide Norway, Albania, Latvia and Thailand. The contract, which dates to 2019, has a ceiling of about $2.2 billion.

Lockheed CEO Jim Taiclet mentioned the corporate goals to just about double manufacturing for Javelin anti-tank missiles to 4,000 per 12 months, however it will take “various months, possibly even a few years,” and that Congress might assist by reshoring microprocessor manufacturing.

Moreover, the Pentagon is poised, in keeping with CNN, to up the ante in Ukraine by additionally sending Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket Launchers and A number of Launch Rocket Techniques to the nation. The Biden administration is anticipated to announce the transfer as a part of its subsequent navy help bundle as early as subsequent week, CNN reported.

New contracts to exchange Javelin and Stingers despatched from U.S. stockpiles have been anticipated to be finalized earlier within the month — a really speedy tempo for the Military, its acquisition chief, Douglas Bush, advised lawmakers in latest congressional testimony. Nonetheless, the timeline to exchange the service’s Javelins might take 18 months, Military Secretary Christine Wormuth mentioned in separate testimony.

“We’re working with each Raytheon and Lockheed to see what they’ll do to hurry up manufacturing,” Wormuth mentioned, including later that congressional funding would assist replenish munition shares.

Earlier this month, Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell reiterated that the division has been in a position to ship Ukraine its weapons “with out affecting navy readiness, and we nonetheless have the required stock for our wants.”

“We’re persevering with to work with business to replenish U.S. inventories and backfill shares of allies and companions, and we’ve requested further sources from Congress by the supplemental invoice to proceed this work,” she mentioned in an announcement.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist protecting land warfare for Protection Information. She has additionally labored for Politico and Inside Protection. She holds a Grasp of Science in journalism from Boston College and a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon School.

Joe Gould is senior Pentagon reporter for Protection Information, protecting the intersection of nationwide safety coverage, politics and the protection business.

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