Raytheon awarded $2.35 billion contract for SM-3 missiles

An aerial view of the Pentagon in Washington August 31, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Raytheon Co RTN.N has won a contract worth up to $2.35 billion to build 52 SM-3 Block IB missiles for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency using fiscal 2015 funding, plus three one-year options, the Pentagon said on Friday.

The contract finalizes a preliminary contract for 44 SM-3 Block IB missiles awarded to Raytheon in April with a value of $541 million and adds eight missiles for a total of 52, the Defense Department said in its daily digest of arms contracts.

It also includes three one-year options for fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2018 that would buy up to 52 additional missiles each year.

The U.S. military has increased its orders of SM-3 missiles to keep up with growing missile threats around the world.

The U.S. and Romanian governments on Friday said work had been completed on a new U.S. missile defense site south of Bucharest that will defend against potential attacks from Iran, and the site would be declared for combat use in early 2016.

The Aegis Ashore site includes a powerful radar, missile interceptors and communications equipment built by Lockheed Martin Corp LMT.N and Raytheon. The site will use the new SM-3 Block IB missiles built by Raytheon.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Dan Grebler and Chris Reese