General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Camden has been awarded a $286 million contract by the U.S. Army for the production of the Hydra-70 air-to-ground rocket.
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products is a business unit of General Dynamics.
The U.S. Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, Ala., awarded the contract, which exercises a fiscal year 2011 option on an existing contract. The U.S. Army orders Hydra rockets for all branches of the U.S. military and select allies. Final deliveries under this order are expected to be completed in April 2015.
General Dynamics employs more than 300 people at its Camden facility, where the company has been the sole manufacturer of the Hydra since 1996. The company recently delivered its four-millionth Hydra rocket. System engineering and program management for the Hydra will be performed at General Dynamics’ technology center in Williston, Vt., which employs approximately 400 workers.
“The Hydra is a cost-effective, versatile, combat-proven weapon that enhances the survivability, protection and mission success of the U.S. military and its allies,” said Russ Klein, vice president and general manager of weapon systems for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. “We recently produced our four-millionth Hydra, and we look forward to the five-millionth, in fulfilling our commitment to deliver a high-quality product to warfighters in the field.”
The Hydra-70, 2.75-inch (diameter) rocket is fired from U.S. Army’s Apache and Kiowa Warrior helicopters, as well as helicopters and aircraft of other armed forces. Hydra rockets are composed of two main components: the MK66 rocket motor and the warhead. Assembled by General Dynamics, the rocket motor is approximately three-and-a-half feet in length and weighs nearly 15 pounds. The rocket’s warhead varies to meet the wide range of mission requirements for all branches of the U.S. military. General Dynamics and other suppliers build the various warheads, which are attached to the rocket motor either at the Arkansas facility or by the warfighter in the field.