EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 22, 2005 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company's
AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR targeting pod has begun full rate production, marking a
significant milestone in this already successful Navy program.
The Advanced Targeting Forward-looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pods currently in
the fleet have won praise from aircrew members who use them in training and
combat. The targeting system augmented precision-strike missions involving
offensive air support, which includes both close-air and deep air support, as
well as battle-damage assessment.
At present, the ATFLIR pods equip carrier-based F/A-18 A+/C Hornets and
Super Hornets. The start of full rate production will ensure that more
aircrews are better equipped to complete their missions.
"I'm pleased to see ATFLIR enter full rate production, as it has already
served the fleet well by providing a much-needed capability under combat
conditions," said Capt. B.D. Gaddis, U.S. Navy F/A-18 program manager.
"Sophisticated targeting systems will play an essential role in the F/A-18's
evolution as an increasingly network centric weapons platform."
ATFLIR is the Department of the Navy's program of record. Its high
reliability and ease of maintainability ensures the pod is ready for tasking,
more often and over longer periods of time than before.
"Moving to a full rate production schedule is a real marker of success for
the program," said Debbie Ybarra, Raytheon ATFLIR program director. "We
always knew the pod had incredible capability to offer the customer, and it's
gratifying to have it proven in the fleet and receive such great feedback from
Wes Motooka, vice president for Raytheon's Tactical Aircraft Systems &
Navigation, a division of Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems, said: "ATFLIR
is the only pod fully integrated and certified across all models of the F/A-
18. It is just one of several Raytheon systems on the Hornet which will allow
the Navy to operate more effectively both in the current threat environment as
well as in the network centric battlespace of the future."
Raytheon is meeting its current commitments to deliver pods to the
Department of the Navy, which plans to purchase up to 574 ATFLIR units for use
on every F/A-18 in the fleet. The company is ready to meet its contract
requirements for delivery of four units per month in 2005 and six in 2006.
However, Raytheon is ramping up its production capacity beginning in June 2005
to 12 pods per month to accommodate international sales and current customer
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems is the leading provider of sensor
systems giving war fighters the most accurate and timely information available
for the network-centric battlefield.
With 2004 revenues of $4.0B and 13,000 employees, SAS is headquartered in
El Segundo, Calif., with additional facilities in Goleta, Calif.; Forest,
Miss.; Dallas, McKinney and Plano, Texas; and several international locations.
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an
industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information
technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft.
With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.
310 334 2553 office
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SOURCE: Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems
Web site: http://www.raytheon.com/