Raytheon wins Navy F/A-18 pod contract

Raytheon Co. has won a $298.2 million contract from the Naval Air Systems Command for production of an advanced targeting pod for the Navy and Marine Corps' F/A-18 fleet, the company announced today.

Under the contract, Raytheon of Waltham, Mass., will provide 88 units, associated spares, special tooling and test equipment and engineering support for production lots one and two of the AN-ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod. The company expects to complete deliveries by November 2006.

The contract follows the Navy's declaration of initial operational capability in September. In the Navy's final operational evaluation report, the ATFLIR pod received the highest possible grade, "operationally effective and suitable," and its introduction into the fleet was recommended, the company said.

The ATFLIR approach integrates several functions into one pod to free aircraft weapons stations to serve other mission requirements. Thus, the pod includes advanced navigation, sensor, laser and targeting technologies.

The Navy plans to buy as many as 574 pods for deployment on every F/A-18 configuration in the fleet. Production schedules call for delivery of eight to 10 pods for each F/A-18 squadron in the Navy and Marine Corps.

Raytheon has more than 76,000 employees and annual sales of $16.8 billion. The company was ranked No. 6 on Washington Technology's 2003 Top 100 list.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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