2018/09/16 – General Dynamics has been awarded a $44 million contract to procure Hydra rockets for foreign military sales to Afghanistan, Nigeria, Australia, Lebanon and the Philippines, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a Friday, September 14 release.
The $44,353,964 modification to a 2014 contract – W31P4Q-14-C-0154 – has an estimated completion date of March 31, 2021.
The number of rockets to be procured was not published, but under a 2017 modification of the same contract, $24,075,990 was awarded for the procurement of 32,925 rockets of six variants.
Funds from fiscal years 2010, 2016, 2017 and 2018 as well as foreign military sales and Department of Defense were obligated, the release said.
In June, General Dynamics was awarded a $149 million contract for Hydra rockets for foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Kenya, Jordan, Nigeria and Qatar.
Hydra 70 is is a 2.75-inch fin-stabilized unguided rocket used primarily in the air-to-ground role which can be equipped with a variety of warheads. The system, derived from the Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket developed by the U.S. Navy in the 1940s, has a maximum range of 10.5 km (11,500 yards).
There are a number of launcher variants that can carry either seven or 19 rockets.
More recent versions can also be fitted with guidance systems like the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System.
Hydra 70 is the most commonly used helicopter-launched rocket system, and can be installed on most rotary and fixed wing aircraft including the AH-64 Apache, AH-1 Cobra, UH-60 Black Hawk, MH-6 Little Bird and OH-58 Kiowa.
Defense Post / Sahel-Elite Photo: A US Army AH-64E Apache helicopter fires a Hydra 70 rocket during a combined arms live-fire exercise, April 5, 2016. image: US Army/Capt. Brian Harris