WASHINGTON: Raytheon is hoping to wrap up several multiyear contracts for the Standard Missile 6 and SM-3 Block IB interceptors in the coming weeks, deals that would give the industrial base some stability and lock in production pipelines for missile interceptors at a critical time, even as North Korea and Iran test new medium-range ballistic missiles.
Forging a multi-year deal “allows us to do strategic planning beyond this effort in a different way than we had before,” said Mitch Stevison, vice president of Raytheon’s Strategic and Naval Systems segment. “It also allows us to look deeper at the next evolution to more efficiently spend our internal research and development dollars to develop new capabilities not available under year-to-year contracts."
Just as important, it allows the company to “present a stable supply chain perspective to teammates that they would not ordinarily have in previous production,” he added.
The issue of steady supply chains is something the Pentagon views with increasing concern given the increasing commercial opportunities for parts suppliers and the frustration some have felt over the past decade of uneven defense work.