The US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Centre (AMRDEC) has awarded Lockheed Martin a development contract to demonstrate a counter rockets, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) interceptor system.

The $8.6m contract is part of an AMRDEC effort to develop and demonstrate critical counter-fire technologies, Lockheed says.

Efforts will focus on developing and leveraging technologies to provide mobile, hemispherical, extended-area protection from RAM threats.

Lockheed’s concept features a compact, vertically launched missile that offers the war fighter significant operational and tactical advantages against RAM threats, the company says.

Work on the contract, which calls for the design, fabrication, integration and test of the prototype hardware is expected to be complete by November 2008.