Under the terms of a recently awarded $50 million contract, BAE Systems is to continue producing the MK 90 propellant grains for the US Army. A key component of the Hydra-70 family of rockets utilized by the United States’ military and several allied countries, the MK 90 propellant grains provides propulsion for the Hydra-70 rocket system.
Consisting of three main components-the Mk 66 MOD 4 rocket motor, a warhead and a point-detonating remote-set fuse-the Hydra-70 rocket system is the most prolific helicopter-launched weapon system in the world. The Hydra-70 rocket system is a family of 2.75-in unguided air-to-surface rockets. Derived from the Mk 4/Mk 40 Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR) developed in the 1940s, the Hydra-70 is less precise than other guided missiles such as the Lockheed Martin-produced Hellfire II but is much cheaper to manufacture. General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP) is the prime contractor for the production of the Hydra-70 rocket system.
“The Hydra-70 missile is the work horse of the unguided missile category,”
said Reed McPeak, vice president and general manager of Ordnance Systems Inc. at BAE Systems.
“It is the most commonly used helicopter-launched weapon system in the world, and we are pleased to fuel this multi-service, multi-national system.”
BAE Systems manufactures the MK 90 propellant grain at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia. The Radford facility is a premier producer of military-grade and solventless propellants. Producing the MK 90 grain calls for more than 300 employees employed in five manufacturing locations at the plant.
BAE Systems commenced grain production in October 2012. The first delivery happened in August 2013.
As of today, BAE Systems has delivered 500,000 MK 90 propellant grain units to the US Department of Defense, while General Dynamics has delivered over 4 million Hydra-70 rockets.
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