CAMDEN, Arkansas (AP) — The U.S. Army has awarded a $286 million contract to General Dynamics for the production of air-to-ground rockets.

Under the contract, the Hydra-70 rockets are to be delivered by April 2015, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics, announced in a news release Monday.

It did not specify how many rockets are on order. The contract exercises a fiscal year 2011 option on an existing contract

"We recently produced our four-millionth Hydra, and we look forward to the five-millionth, in fulfilling our commitment to deliver a high-quality product to warfighters in the field," said Russ Klein, the company's vice president and general manager of weapon systems.

The 70mm rockets will be produced at the company's plant in Camden, Arkansas, which has more than 300 employees and has been the sole manufacturer of Hydra rockets since 1996. System engineering and program management will be performed at General Dynamics' technology center in Williston, Vermont.

"The Hydra is a cost-effective, versatile, combat-proven weapon that enhances the survivability, protection and mission success of the U.S. military and its allies," Klein said.

The Army orders the rockets for all branches of the U.S. military and for select allies. The contract was awarded by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

General Dynamics said the U.S. Army equips its Apache and Kiowa Warrior helicopters with Hydra-70 rockets.