Raytheon Unit Awarded FAA Contract for WAAS Upgrades

 - September 15, 2022, 10:14 AM
WAAS delivers a safety-of-life navigation aid for pilots, especially in austere environments such as this steep approach at a high altitude at Tenzin-Hillary Airport in Lukla, Nepal. (Photo: Raytheon Intelligence & Space)

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) was awarded a $375 million contract this week from the FAA to upgrade the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS), which the company said will enhance the safety of air travel in the National Airspace System. Under the 10-year WAAS dual-frequency operation (DFO) contract, Raytheon will deliver modern and sustainable processing, system security, network architecture, and DFO upgrades to the FAA’s space-based precision navigation system.

The unit of Raytheon Technologies received $215 million at the awarding of the contract to provide technical refresh and DFO upgrades to WAAS. A satellite-based augmentation system, WAAS delivers GPS corrections for aircraft navigation, especially in austere environments and despite weather challenges.

“There is no margin for error during takeoff, flight, or landing,” said RI&S president of surveillance and network systems Denis Donohue. “Our modernization effort for WAAS will improve system robustness during ionospheric events and ensure safety-of-life requirements continue to be met.”

Raytheon Technologies has been WAAS’s prime development contractor since 1996. In conjunction with the FAA, Raytheon has developed and fielded enhancements over the years to expand the precision approach capability, coverage area, and reliability of WAAS. The DFO upgrades will improve system accuracy, integrity, and availability of WAAS during ionospheric interruptions such as solar storms.