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General Dynamics delivers 4-millionth Hydra rocket

20th May 2011 - 09:27 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics, today celebrated 15 years of continuous employment at the company's facility near Camden, Ark., with the delivery of its four-millionth Hydra 70 air-to-ground rocket. General Dynamics has been the sole manufacturer of the Hydra rocket for the US military since 1996. The company continues to deliver Hydra rockets under a contract that, if the US Army exercises all options, will extend through April 2015.

"The tremendous effort to produce thousands of rocket motors per month is accomplished only through the efficiency and experience of our highly-skilled employees and our supply partners," said Russ Klein, vice president and general manager of the company's weapon systems division. "This team effort has consistently resulted in an effective, affordable weapon for the US military and our allies."

More than 300 employees, suppliers and government officials attended a ceremony to mark the production milestone, including Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark), whose district encompasses the Camden Operations facility.

"I'm proud to help celebrate the four-millionth Hydra rocket built right here in south Arkansas," said Rep. Ross. "These Hydra rockets are crucial to our military missions abroad, especially in the war on terror. I thank General Dynamics for continuing their operations in Arkansas and I'm so proud of the more than 300 hardworking employees for their excellent work and for their role in this milestone."

Designated the Hydra 70, 2.75-inch (diameter) rocket, the weapon is fired from US Army's Apache and Kiowa Warrior helicopters, as well as helicopters and aircraft of the other armed forces. Hydra rockets are comprised of two main components: the MK66 rocket motor and the warhead. Assembled by General Dynamics, the rocket motor is approximately three-and-a-half feet in length and weighs nearly 15 pounds. The rocket's warhead varies to meet the wide range of mission requirements for all branches of the US military. General Dynamics and other suppliers build the various warheads, which are attached to the rocket motor either at the Arkansas facility or by the warfighter in the field.

In addition to Hydra rocket production, the workforce manufactures reactive armor tiles for Stryker wheeled-combat vehicles, propelling charges for 155mm howitzer rounds, and pressed warhead charges for Hellfire and Javelin missiles.

Source: General Dynamics

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