INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 4, 2006 /PRNewswire/—Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC (RTSC), a subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN), has been awarded a $5.6 million contract by the U.S. Navy to conduct the Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) Target Cuing System (TCS) program. The enhanced capability provided through this effort will significantly increase the mission effectiveness of the SHARP system and reduce the workload of image analysts.
SHARP provides U.S. Navy carrier-based air wings with high-resolution, digital tactical air reconnaissance that features advanced day/night and all-weather capability. With the TCS upgrade, the system's tactical imaging sensor will deliver more refined information to the image analyst. By reducing the amount of manual labor required of the analyst to make identifications, specific targets can be more quickly located and action taken.
SHARP replaces the current Carrier Air Wing tactical reconnaissance capability provided by the film-based F-14 TARPS (Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System). 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. Recently, the pod has been successfully flown as part of a rapid-deployment initiative in support of fielded operations.
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.
Under the contract, RTSC will manage all aspects of the TCS program, including selection and acquisition of the sensors, design integration, manufacture of an upgraded pod design, and coordination of flight testing for the system on an F/A-18E/F aircraft. The principal work will be performed at RTSC's Indianapolis facility, with support from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, and the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
"Over the life of the SHARP program, Raytheon's responsibilities have evolved to becoming the sole-source producer of the SHARP pod and the integrator of the SHARP system," said John Balaguer, RTSC vice president and general manager of RTSC's Indianapolis-based business unit. "Increasing that role to include the management of the TCS program enables Raytheon to further focus on ensuring F/A-18E/F mission success through the enhanced capabilities that will result from this SHARP upgrade. We will continue to work with the Navy and the SHARP team to proactively provide additional capability and advanced solutions that will ensure the system is prepared to meet the challenges of the future."
RTSC provides technology solutions for defense, federal and commercial customers worldwide. It specializes in Mission Support, counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism, base and range operations and customized engineering services. 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 Company, with 2005 sales of $21.9 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.