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Raytheon's ATFLIR to Introduce New State-of-the-Art Data Link Communications Technology

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 15, 2005 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company's Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) is introducing in 2005 the most advanced form of high-speed data link communications for the U.S. Navy's Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) targeting pod. This state-of-the-art technology is linked to the Navy's road map and vision of ensuring the F/A-18 operates as a critical node of the network in the battlespace of today and for the future.

Currently the most common communications systems in targeting pods rely on the C-band frequency, which in computer terms is the equivalent speed of using a dial-up connection. ATFLIR's new data link system will offer a Ku band capability, which provides DSL-like speed, and growth for full duplex (two way communications) functionality along with a sophisticated encryption system to protect the flow of information. ATFLIR's high-speed "full duplex" two way secure communications will allow near instantaneous communications between the aircrews and ground forces as well as providing enhanced communications with shipboard command and control systems.

Wes Motooka, Raytheon vice president of Tactical Aircraft and Navigation Systems, said: "This new capability in the world of data link communications will provide better flexibility for the aircrews to respond more quickly and more effectively while operating in high density/urban combat environments. This low risk system that the Raytheon team will be bringing into service within the next year is key, not only in support of the warfighters' evolving missions, but it will be fully complimentary with other Department of Defense transformational programs. Ku band is the frequency of the future, and we intend to ensure ATFLIR continues to deliver new and critical technologies that will enhance the performance of the F/A-18 platform."

Ku band is compliant with common data link, programmable for multiple data rates and is six to 20 times faster than C band frequencies currently in use. Ku band is also able to rapidly transmit and receive imagery, with the intention of increasing precision targeting and real time streaming video shared with supported ground units, faster than equivalent pods on the market.

"We are pleased that the Raytheon team is able to offer this advanced capability for the ATFLIR targeting pod," said Captain "BD" Gaddis, U. S. Navy F/A-18 program manager. "Fast and secure communications are crucial in the highly mobile and dynamic battlefield of today and the future. To ensure the correct targets are engaged and the appropriate engagement decisions are made."

Ku band data link communications technology will ensure the ATFLIR targeting pod, the F/A-18's FLIR program of record, becomes a core part of the net-centric operations for air crews who may also need to perform non- traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions as tactics evolve to take advantage of more sophisticated systems.

Raytheon SAS 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 $4.0 billion 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.

With 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, Raytheon Company 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.

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SOURCE: Raytheon Company

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