JEFFERSON COUNTY - The Air Force plans to pay Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. as much as $452 million to keep maintaining and develop systems for the nation's Minuteman III nuclear missiles through 2022.
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center awarded the contract last week to the Jefferson County-based, 14,000-employee division of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), and it included a $6 million task order in the federal government's current budget.
About 450 Minuteman III missiles are deployed in silos scattered around northeastern Colorado and north into the Great Plains. The Air Force has been mulling over whether to modernize or develop new kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles for the nation's nuclear fleet.
The LMSS engineering and maintenance work on missile systems, warhead re-entry vehicles and software under the new contract will be done in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and the Hill Air Force Base, in Utah.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems involvement in the Minuteman missile program dates back to the 1960s.
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