“This fall, Raytheon delivered more than 120 AMRAAM missiles, and this month we are delivering the first missiles with rocket motors produced by our second source along with rocket motor cases provided to them by our U.S. source,” said Raytheon spokesman Jonathan Kasle.
Raytheon Chief Executive William Swanson told an investor conference at the end of November that the program should return to “business as usual” and recover its production schedule by mid-2013. He said the company had already received 125 rocket motors from Nammo and production was expected to reach 100 motors per month in the first quarter.
Davis said Nammo’s rocket motors had performed well in tests, and the Norwegian company was now working to increase its production rate to the level needed for the program.
He said ATK’s future role on the program was unclear, given that it could take the company around 18 months to reformulate its rocket fuel and get it certified. The issue had developed over time due to changes in the formulation of the fuel.
He said the problems with the AMRAAM contract underscored the danger of relying on a sole producer of critical equipment, and the Air Force viewed it as important to maintain more than one supplier in the future.
But he said the projected purchase rates could raise concerns in the future.
“It’ll be something that we’ll have to pay attention to in the future,” Davis said. “It’s important that we try to keep more than one (supplier), but sometimes at the rate we’re buying or the rate we’re building it’s not viable for two companies to stay actively involved. It’ll be something that we’ll have to pay attention to in the future.”
Gulick said the revamped contract also called for Raytheon to compensate the U.S. government and foreign militaries between $27 million to $33 million for late rocket motor deliveries.
That compensation included no-cost labor to install a variety of software upgrades for foreign countries harmed by the late deliveries, warranty coverage and free repairs, Gulick said.