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Raytheon Sensor Offers Air Force Early Missile Warning Alternative

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by Staff Writers
El Segundo CA (SPX) Oct 17, 2006
A payload consisting of a sensor with a focal plane array large enough to capture images of the entire earth from a geosynchronous missile warning satellite is in development by Raytheon Company under a $54.4 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

The Alternate Infrared Satellite System program, as it is known, calls for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems to design and build a developmental integrated sensor assembly for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. The Air Force is seeking to develop a solution with lower cost and risk than the geosynchronous missile warning satellite in parallel development by another contractor for the third Space Based Infrared System.

"The program takes advantage of a single full-earth staring instrument to look for infrared plumes and provide early warning of ballistic missile launches," said Brian Arnold, vice president for Strategic Systems. "The lack of moving parts allows for a lighter, more affordable payload and fewer opportunities for component failure, while the non-moving, wide-angle infrared optics capture the earth's surface at high fidelity."

The staring approach enabled by the large focal plane array also will allow the warfighter to detect infrared events of brief duration, such as the activity of short-range theater missiles.

Expected in 2008, a decision to produce either system will depend on the developmental success of the geosynchronous satellites and the maturity of the technology demonstrated by the Alternative Infrared Satellite System, according to the Air Force. The Raytheon effort follows the back-to-basics approach directed by Dr. Ronald Sega, under secretary of the Air Force. The fast-paced program is scheduled to complete critical design review next spring and deliver hardware a year later.

Related Links
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Northrop Grumman Bids For Army Integrated Air And Missile Defense Battle Command System
Huntsville AL (SPX) Oct 17, 2006
Northrop Grumman has announced that it intends to bid as prime contractor for the U.S. Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) program competition. The IBCS is an Army transformational program that will establish a network-centric system-of-systems solution for integrating sensors, shooters, and battle management command, control, communications and intelligence systems (BMC4I) for Army air and missile defense.







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