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Raytheon Wins GEM-T Contract

Raytheon described GEM-T as "a significant upgrade over the existing Patriot Advanced Configuration-2 (PAC-2) missile."
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) May 01, 2007
Raytheon has won a $100 million contract for its Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-T, or GEM-T, upgrade program. The deal "includes orders for the U.S. Army and a Foreign Military Sales contract for 230 GEM-T upgrades, plus spares," Raytheon said in a statement Tuesday.

"This is the largest order received to date for GEM-T and bolsters Raytheon's upgrade output to levels not seen since the mid 1990s," the company said. "This large order benefits both customers with significant price reductions. For successive awards, Raytheon has successfully reduced the acquisition unit price for the U.S. Army."

"As the Global War on Terror wages on and budgets tighten, we are proud to be able to provide our warfighters with an affordable, highly accurate missile that can be counted on the first time, every time," said Pete Franklin, vice president for National and Theater Security Programs at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. "This GEM-T upgrade enables our troops to continue to rely on Raytheon's Patriot system to identify, track and eliminate airborne threats into the future."

Raytheon described GEM-T as "a significant upgrade over the existing Patriot Advanced Configuration-2 (PAC-2) missile."

"When fielded in conjunction with the Patriot Advanced Configuration-3 (PAC-3) system, (it) provides a robust capability against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft and remotely piloted vehicles. GEM-T provides the U.S. Army and its allies with enhanced accuracy at a low cost, the company said.

"GEM-T missiles are PAC-2 missiles that are refurbished and modernized at Raytheon's Integrated Air Defense Center, Andover, Mass. Through the upgrade process, older components are replaced, new technology inserted and reliability increased," the statement said.

Raytheon IDS is the prime contractor for the Patriot system and the system integrator for the PAC-3 system that includes the GEM-T missile.

Raytheon wins DARPA contract for missile domes

Raytheon has won a two-year $7.5 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense "to develop an improved composite material for infrared windows and missile domes."

"The contract calls for the development of significantly enhanced materials and manufacturing processes compared to those currently in use for windows and aerodynamically shaped domes in the 3-5 micron mid-wave infrared band," said Mark Russell, vice president of engineering at Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems.

Raytheon said the Phase 1 contract was "being performed for the Office of Naval Research as part of DARPA's Nano-Composite Optical Ceramics program."

"The objective is to develop a processing method for the manufacture of infrared transparent missile domes capable of higher speed operation and greater particle impact resistance than sapphire, the current material," the company said in a statement Monday.

"If options are exercised in subsequent phases, the full program has a potential value of $14.4 million," it said.

"Phase 1 goals include achieving mid-wave infrared optical transmission exceeding that of spinel with mechanical properties greater than those of sapphire," said Rick Gentilman, Raytheon's program manager. "These efforts will include the development of new classes of infrared materials for windows and domes based on multi-phase nano-composites designed to be substantially stronger than existing single-phase infrared materials."

Raytheon said its project team would include Rutgers University, the University of Connecticut, the University of California-Davis and three small businesses -- Nanocerox, Ann Arbor, Mich.; CeraNova, Marlborough, Mass.; and CBW Tech Services, Framingham, Mass. Raytheon said its own work on the contract "will be performed by its Integrated Defense Systems in Andover, Mass., and Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz."

PACOM confident on BMD shield

The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet has said in a new interview he was confident that the BMD systems being jointly developed by the United States and Japan could defend the Northeast Asian region from ballistic missile threats, including those posed by North Korea.

"I would say it is possible to hit a missile with a missile because we have done it. We have done it many times," Adm. Gary Roughead told the Kyodo news agency in an interview published Tuesday in the Japan Times.

"Our testing, especially with the navy's ballistic missile defense that's based on the Aegis weapons system that both the U.S. and Japan have as part of their capability ... (has) proven that capability. I have great confidence in that capability," he said.

Roughead acknowledged that developing the new systems would be "very expensive" because of the cutting-edge technology they required but told Kyodo he was happy with advances in the project.

Roughead also told Kyodo it was essential that the Japanese and U.S. armed forces were able to rapidly and efficiently share crucial information to allow their BMD systems to work in a coordinated manner as quickly as possible in response to any ballistic missile attack.

"It is very important that we be able to share information, especially in areas such as ballistic missile defense where the threat of a ballistic missile moves so very, very fast that our ability to share information and the ability to cooperate is very important," he said.

Kyodo noted that the new systems, based on the U.S. Standard Missile 3 and sea-based Aegis radar warships, and on the land-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC-3, systems, were being deployed "mainly to deal with threats from North Korea as well as China, which has been boosting military spending."

The SM-3s are designed for space interception of short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles and the Patriot is designed to intercept them closer to ground. However, neither system is designed to intercept far faster incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs.

Source: United Press International

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