General Dynamics (GD) Armament and Technical Products has been awarded a $286m contract by the US Army Contracting Command for the production of the Hydra-70 air-to-ground rocket.

The contract has been awarded by exercising a fiscal year 2011 option on an existing contract to provide the rockets for all branches of the US military and select allies.

GD Armament and Technical Products weapon systems vice-president and general manager Russ Klein said, “The Hydra is a cost-effective, versatile, combat-proven weapon that enhances the survivability, protection and mission success of the US military and its allies.”

The Hydra-70 rockets consist of two main components, the mk66 rocket motor and the warhead, which varies to meet the wide range of mission requirements.

The rocket is fired from US Army Apache and Kiowa Warrior helicopters, as well as helicopters and aircraft of other armed forces.

Work will be carried out at the company’s facility in Arkansas, US, while the system engineering and programme management will be performed at GD’s technology centre in Vermont, US.

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Deliveries under the new contract are expected to be completed in April 2015.