Navy buys Raytheon radar for F/A-18 fighter

INDIANAPOLIS, 13 January 2005. Raytheon Co. has been awarded a U.S. Navy contract to acquire time-critical parts for six F/A-18 Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) systems.

INDIANAPOLIS, 13 January 2005. Raytheon Co. has been awarded a U.S. Navy contract to acquire time-critical parts for the F/A-18 Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) systems.

Under the contract, which has a not-to-exceed value of $8 million, Raytheon Technical Services Co. LLC (RTSC) will acquire and integrate key subsystems and components in the production of six SHARP systems to be delivered to the Navy in 2006. System production will be performed in Indianapolis. The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is the contracting agency.

In September 2004, Navy leaders awarded RTSC a $12.5 million contract to provide spares for fielded SHARP systems.

SHARP provides Navy carrier-based air wings with high-resolution, digital tactical air reconnaissance that features advanced day/night and all- weather capability. RTSC is the sole-source producer of the SHARP pod and the integrator of the SHARP system.

SHARP replaces the current Carrier Air Wing tactical reconnaissance capability provided by the film-based F-14 Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS). Fleet introduction of the SHARP system on the F/A-18F Super Hornet commenced with early operational capability on the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in 2003 and the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in 2004.

The Raytheon-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. While 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.

"Deployment of the first systems to the fleet in April 2003 provided the U.S. Navy's F/A-18F Super Hornet with unmatched tactical reconnaissance capability, which is key to mission assurance for the warfighter," said John Balaguer, RTSC vice president and general manager of RTSC's Indianapolis-based business unit.

"Raytheon has participated as part of the SHARP government/industry team from early in the system's design and development, providing mission support throughout the system's life cycle. We are pleased to continue working closely with the Navy to provide our fighting forces with the best possible technology to complete their missions successfully."

Mission support--Raytheon's integrated approach to predicting customer needs, sensing problems and preemptively applying solutions--enables Raytheon to maintain readiness and deliver operational capability on demand, allowing our customers to focus on their mission.

Raytheon Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance programs cover the full spectrum of information management, providing the ability to task, collect, process, exploit and disseminate national and tactical target data. These abilities are crucial for warfighters to achieve information dominance throughout the entire battlespace.

Having obtained a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Maturity Level 4 rating for software engineering as defined by the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model Integration, Raytheon's Indianapolis operation is one of an elite group of only 50 companies worldwide that have obtained a CMMI Level 4 or 5 rating. CMMI maturity levels are increasingly used by government agencies and contractors to evaluate the potential for organizations to produce quality products on time and within budget.

Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC provides technology solutions for defense, federal and commercial customers worldwide. It specializes in mission support, customized engineering and on-site engineering solutions.

Raytheon Co., with 2003 sales of $18.1 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 78,000 people worldwide. For more information, see www.raytheon.com.

More in RF/Analog