No. 6: Raytheon works the system
Strategy: Use IT solutions to gain entry, then expand deep and agencywide
- By Doug Beizer
- May 11, 2006
"With this system, the Raytheon scheduling software lets users schedule what they want to see and when they want to see it," says Guy DuBois, vice president for operational technology and solutions at Raytheon Co.
As the Federal Aviation Administration continues working to replace and upgrade the nation's air traffic control system, working beside the agency, developing the technology powering the effort, is Raytheon Co.
In many ways, the project is emblematic of how Raytheon has achieved success in the government market. Purely IT contracts don't account for the bulk of Raytheon's bottom line, but the work is key to the company's success, said Russ Barber, Raytheon's vice president of strategy.
The company is ranked No. 6 on this year's Top 100 list with $2.5 billion in prime IT contracts.
"In general, that IT business has helped move us into some fairly significant areas from a systems point of view," Barber said. "Building on our IT capability, for example, is what put us in position to take phase 4 of the DD(X) contract, which for us is worth about $2.1 billion."
Under DD(X), the Navy's next-generation combatant, Raytheon is developing the ship's systems.
Along the U.S.-Mexico border, the company demonstrated the Project Athena border patrol solution. The solution offers surveillance and intelligence data to a joint interagency task force, which uses the information to support Homeland Security Department law enforcement efforts.
During the six-week mission, Athena and Customs and Border Protection successfully detected, intercepted and deterred threats and drugs and alien smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border over a large, joint operations area, including 160 miles of coastline, 120 miles of land border and nine ports of entry.
Raytheon officials see homeland security work, both in the United States and abroad, as a major growth area.
The expansion of commercial and private flight offer further opportunities, they said. The new air traffic system aims to eliminate flying in lanes, as is required under today's system.
"With the advent of very sophisticated IT and [Global Positioning System] devices, you're able to design a system that permits, within limits, pretty much free flight, so you don't have to go to lane, and the system keeps the planes apart," Barber said. Raytheon is working with the FAA to help build the concepts and initial designs for that system.
Raytheon sees growth in civilian areas, but defense work continues to dominate the company's business. By some measures, it accounts for about 80 percent of Raytheon's work.
The company is working for the Air Force on the Distributed Common Ground System, which will provide the network-centric operations backbone for the armed forces as each service develops its own system.
"Before DCGS, you had more stovepiped, standalone systems," said Rob Renner, DCGS executive at Raytheon. "What we've done now is take advantage of Internet-like technology and Web-based services, and put it in a defense environment."
"That point-and-click technology has been brought into the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance space and command and control space," he said. "Really, this is for information-sharing and collaboration. We think of it as Google with a clearance."
The system is the backbone on which new applications can be built. It's an open architecture, and the federal government owns the source code, Renner said.
Another Raytheon project for the Defense Department focuses on the military's expanding need to share data and information while on the move.
The Global Broadcast System is designed to broadcast large volumes of information to users all over the globe, said Guy DuBois, vice president for operational technology and solutions at Raytheon.
"You can think of it as DirectTV for the military," he said. "Users that have a receive suite and are under the satellite beam can receive the broadcasts and view them, store them, whatever they want to do with them."
The program has been around for about 10 years, but it gained prominence in early 2000, driven by the global war on terror.
While deploying personnel to Afghanistan and Iraq, the military was hit by the pressing need to move a lot of information. The best way to do it, it found, was by using satellite TV architecture in which a satellite dish is used to receive broadcasts.
Uses of the Global Broadcast System range from broadcasting highly classified information, which the system was designed for, to broadcasting what is called operational information such as weather, logistics data, mapping information. The system also is used to boost troop morale, broadcasting events such as the Super Bowl.
"The difference between this system and DirectTV is if you have satellite TV, you don't get a lot of say on what is broadcast," DuBois said. "With this system, the Raytheon scheduling software lets the users schedule what they want to see and when they want to see it."
For example, he said, a commander in Afghanistan can schedule when he would like to see an intelligence briefing from the Pentagon.Additional 2006 Top 100 ProfilesNo. 1: 12 times the fun for Lockheed No. 2: Northrop takes aim on health ITNo. 3: SAIC prepares for public debutNo. 4: Revving the acquisition engineNo. 5: CSC holds a lure for a buyerNo. 6: Raytheon works the systemNo. 7: L-3 cuts bigger slice of govt pieNo. 8: For EDS, steady as she goesNo. 9: Booz Allen adapts to stay on topNo. 10: Dell solutions get superpoweredNo. 11: BAE keeps acquisition fires burningNo. 12: Despite sale, Anteon's vision lives onNo. 13: Intelligence work fuels CACI's growthNo. 14: Verizon-MCI combination packs a punchNo. 15: Restructured IDS lets Boeing help clientsNo. 16: ITT Industries aims for the sweet spotNo. 17: IBM Corp. steps up as a subcontractorNo. 18: Sprint Nextel goes for convergenceNo. 19: For SRA, the profit is in its peopleNo. 20: It's always mission possible for UnisysOverview: The Billion-Dollar Club
Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.