Missile developers in the U.S. are working on new weapons that combine the effects and capabilities of several previous munitions into single weapons, with the aim of significantly reducing the number of types held in the inventory and dramatically increasing the in-flight flexibility of aircraft and helicopters compared with current armament options.
Raytheon’s common ground control system (CGCS) is being cast as an economical solution for controlling unmanned aircraft systems from different manufacturers. This is after it started life several years ago as a tactical control system (TCS) for the U.S. Navy.
Raytheon’s growing portfolio of precision munitions is to expand with the development of a new smart missile to arm small UAVs that are current unable to carry weapons. Initial flight tests have produced good results, and the small tactical missile (STM) is gearing up for more advanced testing in the coming weeks.
Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems division has upgraded its SeaVue maritime surveillance radar, incorporating a situational awareness package that has been fielded with the U.S. Navy and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency and is now available for export.
The Patriot air defense missile system was designed by Raytheon and first fielded in 1984. Four years later, a missile defense capability was added, mainly through changes to the guidance software. In the 1991 Gulf War, the system had mixed success against Iraqi short-range Scud missiles, and it became clear that its blast-fragmentation warhead was inadequate to the task.
Taiwanese president Ma Ying-Jeou renewed his nation’s plea to the U.S. for more F-16s, citing China’s recent unveiling of the J-20 stealth fighter. Ma spoke after witnessing an air defense exercise that involved the launch of 19 missiles, including indigenous Tien Chien (Sky Sword) AAMs and Tien Kung (Sky Bow) SAMs. The new ground-launched version of the Tien Chien was also fired.
Raytheon is currently involved in two major upgrade programs for the U.S. Air Force’s Eagle fleet, providing AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars for both the air defense F-15C/D and the multi-role F-15E. Both programs have recently achieved significant milestones.
Raytheon Systems Ltd. (RSL) has revealed details of the Shadow R1, a modification of the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350ER that was done in the UK as an urgent operational requirement for the UK Royal Air Force. The four aircraft were delivered last year without fanfare to No 5. squadron, which also operates the five Sentinel R1 (Astor) surveillance jets provided by RSL. They have since been deployed to Afghanistan.
Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, has won the U.S. Navy’s small tactical unmanned air system (STUAS)/Tier II competition to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with an easily deployable ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capability. A decision on STUAS/Tier II was originally expected in the spring, but was delayed while the Navy continued its evaluations of competing systems.