Raytheon to upgrade Special Operations combat helicopters with latest infrared sensor technology

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FORT EUSTIS, Va., 5 Aug. 2011. Aviation experts in the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) are looking to the Raytheon Co. Network Centric Systems segment in McKinney, Texas, to produce two upgraded versions of the AN/ZSQ-2 electro-optical sensor system for the Boeing MH-47G and Sikorsky MH-60M special-operations helicopters in the U.S. Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment-Airborne -- better-known as SOAR(A) -- at Fort Campbell, Ky. The two different versions of the AN/ZSQ-2 sensor are for assault and attack.


Raytheon won a $21 million contract Thursday from the USSOCOM Technology Applications Contracting Office (TAKO) at Fort Eustis, Va., to replace the existing forward-looking infrared (FLIR) engine in the AN/ZSQ-2 electro-optical sensors with third-generation FLIR engines.

Raytheon engineers must produce two different AN/ZSQ-2 sensor packages -- one for attack, and the other for assault -- for the 160th aviation regiment's MH-47G and MH-60M helicopters because the two different missions require different sizes and have different payload restrictions.

The Raytheon AN/ZSQ-2 electro-optical sensor system is part of the company's Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS) family of sensors for target detecting, ranging, and tracking. The sensor system is packaged in a turreted or forward-looking pod combining electro-optical and infrared sensors, as well as full-motion video camera for long-range surveillance and high-altitude target acquisition, tracking, and laser designation.

The sensor pod is capable of integrating multiple-wavelength sensors, near-infrared and color TV cameras, target illuminators, eyesafe laser range finders, image merging capability, spot trackers, and other kinds of avionics, Raytheon officials say. The AN/ZSQ-2 can laser-designate targets for the AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missile, the Paveway laser-guided bomb, and other U.S. and NATO laser-guided munitions.

For more information contact Raytheon Network Centric Systems online at www.raytheon.com/businesses/ncs, or U.S. Special Operations Command at www.socom.mil.

Related stories

-- Raytheon gets infrared and laser sensor avionics order for Navy helicopters;

-- Raytheon produces airborne hyperspectral sensor for U.S. Air Force; and

-- Raytheon develops world's largest infrared light-wave detector.


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