PARIS June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. missile maker Raytheon plans to announce it will restart its Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) production line after a $650 million dollar order from four U.S. allies, the president of Raytheon’s Missile Systems, Taylor Lawrence, said on Sunday.
Raytheon is attending the June 19-25 Paris Airshow where it plans to make the announcement that it will restart the line that has been shut for about two years.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Raytheon four contracts to sell a total of 280 SM-2 Block IIIA and IIIB missiles to the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
The deal could keep the Arizona production line open through 2035 because Raytheon anticipates more orders as the United States and its allies rebuild their inventories using the modernized production line, Lawrence told Reuters.
SM-2 missiles are often used to defend ships against anti-ship missiles and aircraft. They have a range of about 90 nautical miles.
The U.S. Congress would be notified shortly of the proposed Foreign Military Sales, Lawrence said. Congress must approve most major foreign weapons sales.
Delivery of the weapons could begin in 2020 Lawrence added.
The order will add to Raytheon’s $36 billion order backlog. More than 41 percent of Raytheon’s backlog was international customers at the end of the quarter reported in April.
Raytheon is based in Waltham, Massachusetts-based and had 2016 sales of $24 billion. It has 63,000 employees. (Reporting by Mike Stone in Paris; Editing by Edmund Blair)