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Raytheon to build nuclear cruise missiles for Air Force

Raytheon Technologies flag
Posted at 12:00 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 20:28:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Raytheon Missiles & Defense has won a contract to build long-range, nuclear-capable standoff weapons for the United States Air Force.

According to the company, Raytheon will be the lone contractor to build the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missiles, which can be launched from aircraft including bombers such as the B-52 and B-21.

The Air Force chose Raytheon over Lockheed Martin Corp. for the contract. Southern Arizona's largest employer, Raytheon is located at 1151 E. Hermans Road.

The nuclear AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missile, which is expected to be available for service in about 2030, is known to have a range of more than 1,500 miles.

"LRSO will be a critical contributor to the air-launched portion of America's nuclear triad," said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense, in a statement. "Providing a modernized capability to the U.S. Air Force will strengthen our nation's deterrence posture."

Raytheon and Lockheed both worked on the early phases of the project but the Air Force decided to go with Raytheon alone to complete development.