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Lockheed-Roketsan to Develop SOM-J Missiles for F-35 Jets

Lockheed Martin Corp.LMT signed a contract with Turkey-based Roketsan to build SOM-J, a new-generation air-to-surface standoff cruise missile, for integration into the internal weapons section of the Block 4 F-35 jets.

The latest contract involves initial flight tests of the missile onboard the Turkish fleet of F-16 fighters in 2017. The companies will also be able to proceed with their Technical Assistance Agreement in order to ensure availability of SOM-J globally.

As many as 10 countries, apart from the U.S. and Turkey, have placed orders for the F-35 fighter jets.

Pilots will be able to engage long-distance targets without compromising on the aircraft's stealth capabilities due to the incorporation of SOM-J in F-35.

The Turkish Air Force started using the SOM missile in 2011, after five years of extensive research and development. SOM-J is a smaller version of the subsonic SOM missile with 500-pound warhead and has a required range of more than 100 nautical miles. It uses Global Positioning System along with inertial, terrain-referencing and image-based navigation systems. It also has an imaging infrared seeker.

Roketsan is a leader in national missile and rocket programs in Turkey. The company also serves as a strategic and technology production center of the country's defense sector. It manufactures weapons like artillery rocket/missile systems, anti-tank missiles and air defense missiles among others.

Lockheed Martin and Turkey have been business partners since 1984. The company will continue to offer reasonable defense systems to the Turkish military, maintaining their longstanding alliance.

Zacks Rank

Lockheed Martin currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the aerospace and defense sector are Leidos Holdings, Inc. LDOS , Northrop Grumman Corporation NOC and Engility Holdings, Inc. EGL . While Leidos sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Northrop and Engility carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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NORTHROP GRUMMN (NOC): Free Stock Analysis Report

LOCKHEED MARTIN (LMT): Free Stock Analysis Report

ENGILITY HLDGS (EGL): Free Stock Analysis Report

LEIDOS HOLDINGS (LDOS): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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