Raytheon Wins Air Force Jet Radar Contract

November 4th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Raytheon Wins Air Force Jet Radar Contract

Boston Globe
November 3, 2007 F-15Es upgrade may bring firm as much as $1b over 10 years
By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff
Waltham defense giant Raytheon Co. yesterday said it won a contract to upgrade radar for the Air Force's F-15E fighter jets, an award with an estimated value of up to $1 billion over 10 years.
Raytheon will supply its advanced technology systems, called active electronically scanned array, or AESA, radar, to Boeing Co., the prime contractor for the aircraft. The parties wouldn't disclose a price tag for the program, which will upgrade all 224 of the two-seat F-15E fighters used in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.
Defense analyst Howard Rubel at Jefferies & Co., however, said the contract would be worth "in the $1 billion range" over the coming decade for Raytheon's Space & Airborne Systems business.
"This will be a completely new radar system for the airplane," said Mike Henchey, director of business development for Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems based in El Segundo, Calif. The division builds airborne radar components in California, Texas, Mississippi, and Massachusetts, but Henchey said it has yet to determine where production work for the F-15E program will be done.
Boeing selected Raytheon for the upgrade over a competing contractor, Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles. Raytheon, which delivered its first active-array radars to the US military in 2000, has been improving them for installation in the nose of other fighters, such as the single-seat Air Force F-15C and the Navy's F/A-18 jets. The contract to mount them on F-15Es, which are stationed around the world, solidifies the company's status as the go-to radar provider for fighter aircraft.
"In the end, it really delivers value to both the Air Force and to Raytheon," said Rubel of Jefferies & Co. "It expands Raytheon's platform applications for AESA, and at the same time it lowers maintenance costs for the Air Force and gives them a substantial upgrade in capability for a fraction of the cost of a new aircraft."
The new radar systems improve both the performance and the reliability of F-15Es, said Tom Kennedy, the Raytheon vice president for tactical airborne systems. Kennedy said they enable the crew to see targets and map ground installations at longer ranges. At the same time, he said, their solid state electronics design has removed many mechanical moving parts, reducing radar maintenance.
Raytheon's modernization program is scheduled to begin next year. The new radar and enhanced capabilities are expected to keep the F-15Es flying in the Air Force fleet through 2035.

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