Raytheon makes reconnaissance pod for Navy F-18

INDIANAPOLIS, 7 Sept. 2005. The U.S. Navy has awarded a subsidiary of Raytheon Co. a $19.9 million contract to produce reconnaissance pods that play a key role in the network-centric environment of the U.S. warfighter.

Sep 7th, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS, 7 Sept. 2005. The U.S. Navy has awarded a subsidiary of Raytheon Co. a $19.9 million contract to produce reconnaissance pods that play a key role in the network-centric environment of the U.S. warfighter.

Under this contract, Raytheon Technical Services Co. LLC (RTSC) will produce six additional Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) systems at its Indianapolis facility for delivery to the U.S. Navy in 2006. RTSC procured key subsystems and components that will be used in the production of these six systems under an earlier award from the Navy.

Fleet introduction of the SHARP system on the F/A-18F Super Hornet began with early operational capability on the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in 2003 and continues on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in 2004.

SHARP replaces the current Carrier Air Wing tactical reconnaissance capability provided by the film-based F-14 Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS).

The SHARP system was developed by a government and industry team composed of RTSC; Boeing; Recon/Optical, Inc.; L-3 Communications; and the U.S. Navy.

Its initial payload suite provides advanced day/night imaging and real-time data linking. The RTSC-designed pod incorporates a rotating mid-section to optimize coverage to protect the window by allowing stowage under the strongback, and to reduce the size and life-cycle expense of large fixed windows. The pod's design also provides mobility -- it mounts on a bomb rack like a smart weapon -- allowing for more flexibility in reconnaissance mission planning. Although the initial systems employ electro-optical/infrared sensors for use on the F/A-18E/F aircraft, the pod design is readily adaptable to many sensor payloads on a wide range of aircraft.

"High-resolution, digital tactical air reconnaissance is essential for commanders in today's battle environment, and SHARP provides that capability for the U.S. Navy carrier-based air wings," said Larry Parsons, program manager for Aircraft Auxiliary Systems at RTSC.

"RTSC designed an innovative pod that allows the latest optical and electronics technologies to be quickly and reliably used in the rigorous Naval aviation environment. We're pleased that Raytheon's responsibilities on the SHARP program have evolved over the years to our current role of system production and integration. This role enables us to focus on enabling our customer's mission success."

John Balaguer, vice president and general manager of RTSC's Indianapolis-based business unit, said, "SHARP is one element of the support Raytheon provides to the Super Hornet, and we're very proud of the contribution it has made to the success of the missions flown by this aircraft. The system has proven itself with success in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and we will continue to work with the Navy and the rest of the SHARP team to ensure it continues to provide the capabilities and performance that are critical to successful mission completion."

Raytheon Technical Services Co. LLC, a subsidiary of Raytheon Co., provides technology solutions for defense, federal and commercial customers worldwide. It specializes in mission support, engineering product solutions and engineering service solutions. Mission Support-Raytheon's integrated approach to providing total life-cycle support, predicting customer needs, sensing problems and proactively applying solutions-enables Raytheon to maintain readiness and deliver operational capability on demand, enhancing customer mission success.

Raytheon Co., with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide. For more information, see www.raytheon.com.

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