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Navy ends ERGM funding

Mar. 24, 2008 - 05:25PM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 24, 2008 - 05:25PM  |  
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The Navy has stopped funding Raytheon's extended range guided munition, effectively killing the 12-year-old program.

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The Navy has stopped funding Raytheon's extended range guided munition, effectively killing the 12-year-old program.

The end comes after the Navy spent more than $600 million on unsuccessful efforts by Raytheon to produced a precision munition that could be fired from a ship's 5-inch gun and then fly, guided by satellites, to a target about 50 miles away.

ERGM failed a series of test firings in February, according to industry sources.

Navy spokeswoman Pat Dolan said the Navy notified Raytheon March 19 it would no longer fund the program. The Navy cited a contract technicality for cutting off funds. Raytheon failed to notify the Navy "in a timely fashion" that it had spent almost all of the money in the ERGM program budget.

But Dolan said the Navy also "made a decision that continued investment in ERGM was imprudent."

A Raytheon spokesman said he did not know why the Navy decided to stop funding ERGM.

Dolan said the Navy plans to study a variety of "technological solutions" to take the place of the ERGM, which was intended to provide long-range fire from the sea to support Marines ashore.

One alternative is Alliant Techsystems' ballistic trajectory extended range munition, which is similar to ERGM. But it, too, has experienced serious problems in testing.

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