Tag Archives: Raytheon Intelligence & Space

Counter-mortar capability

In four weeks of continuous live-fire exercises, an industry team led by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, and Kord, a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR, defeated multiple 60-mm mortar rounds with a 50 kW-class high energy laser integrated on a Stryker combat vehicle.

DE M-SHORAD
Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Kord team-up to defeat multiple mortars and large drones with Stryker-mounted high-energy laser

The directed energy weapon system – part of the U.S. Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, or DE M-SHORAD – acquired, tracked, targeted and defeated multiple mortars and successfully accomplished multiple tests simulating real-world scenarios.

Continuing to put the DE M-SHORAD system to the test, the recent operational assessment at White Sands Missile Range also included defeating several small, medium and large drones.

«Soldiers in the field face increasingly complex threats, and our combat-proven sensors, software, and lasers are ready to give them a new level of protection», said Annabel Flores, president of Electronic Warfare Systems for Raytheon Intelligence & Space. «The Army gave us our toughest challenge yet – countering rockets, artillery and mortars – and we took an essential step on the path to providing the maneuverable, short range air defense Soldiers need».

The DE M-SHORAD effort is aimed at protecting soldiers against various aerial threats, including unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing aircraft, rockets, artillery and mortars. Kord serves as the primary integrator of the system on the Stryker combat vehicle, while Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides the 50 kW-class high energy laser weapon module, a specialized radar acquisition system, a beam control system and targeting sensor.

«This team once again showed that the HEL system is fully-integrated and ready to provide protection against complex threats», said Byron Bright, President of KBR Government Solutions. «With an effectively infinite magazine and near-zero cost per shot, HEL is now the proven answer to asymmetric threats like drones and mortars».

The joint industry team, which includes Rocky Research for power and thermal management, General Dynamics Land Systems for the Stryker platform, and Applied Technology Associates for additional sensors, is preparing to deliver four DE M-SHORAD units to Army Brigade Combat Teams in 2022.

RI&S’ high energy laser weapon systems, built in McKinney, Texas, works on land, in the air and at sea, providing 360-degree coverage that can protect bases, airports, stadiums and other high-value military or civilian assets. Open architecture, scalable power, and ruggedized design adapts to the demands of the mission. HEL weapons can be used as standalone systems or rapidly installed on a variety of platforms. Major suppliers for the system are based in Huntsville, Alabama; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; East Granby, Connecticut; and Los Angeles, California.

Global ASNT System

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, completed the installation of the first Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal (ASNT) system for the U.S. Air Force. The terminal system modernizes existing protected communications systems while adding new capabilities for nuclear and non-nuclear command and control. Global ASNT ensures robust communications to provide protected communications to nuclear bomber, missile and support aircraft crews in austere environments.

Global ASNT
Raytheon Intelligence & Space installs first Global ASNT System for the U.S. Air Force

«Operating on both MILSTAR and Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites, Global ASNT systems use satellite communications to provide command and control, linking nuclear forces to national command authorities», said Denis Donohue, president, Communications & Airspace Management Systems, RI&S. «These expanded capabilities will provide the critical data needed at the tactical edge to make smart decisions in near real time, including supporting the Defense Department’s Joint All Domain Command and Control initiatives for the joint services».

The contract is administered through the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and supports U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command. The total awarded contract value for Global ASNT is nearly $600 million.

The RI&S team is completing three additional base installs that will comprise Global Strike Command’s Initial Operating Capability. As production and fielding continue, 90 terminals, including spares and support equipment, will be produced and fielded in fixed and transportable configurations by the end of 2023.

Primary work locations for this effort are in Florida and Massachusetts with major suppliers in California, Pennsylvania and Texas; the balance of the more than 200 suppliers supporting the program are spread across the U.S.

Laser Weapon

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, demonstrated that their High Energy Laser Weapon System, or HELWS, can pair with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), to stop unmanned aircraft threats.

HELWS
The High-Energy Laser Weapon System, mounted on a tactical military vehicle, demonstrates interoperability with the NASAMS air defense system at White Sands Missile Range

During the live-fire exercise, the HELWS received cues from the NASAMS Fire Distribution Center and used automated target cueing and a full spectrum of electro-optical/infrared sensors to track, identify and quickly take down drones at tactically relevant distances. The HELWS took down nine Group 1 and Group 2 drones over the White Sands Missile Range.

«Drone threats are particularly dangerous in any environment – from soccer stadiums to battlefields – because they’re not easy to spot and take down», said Annabel Flores, president of Electronic Warfare Systems for RI&S. «We’re showing the world that our defensive laser weapons can plug into existing air defenses to find and drop drones in the blink of an eye».

Representatives from multiple U.S. military and civilian agencies as well as international ministries of defense gathered at the White Sands Missile Range to see how the HELWS is readily interoperable with existing command and control systems. The NASAMS medium-range air defense solution, co-developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, consists of the Sentinel radar, Fire Distribution Center, and a suite of effectors. The demonstration showcased the ability to integrate a counter-unmanned aircraft systems solution with NASAMS, adding to its interoperability and medium-range air defense capabilities for a true layered defense.

By adding NASAMS to the list of sensors, effectors, and command and control systems the HELWS already works with, Raytheon Technologies can provide end users maximum flexibility to engage unmanned aircraft threats as part of an integrated air defense.

RI&S’ laser weapon systems, built in McKinney, Texas, work on land, in the air and at sea, providing 360-degree coverage that can protect bases, airports, stadiums and other high-value military or civilian assets. Open architecture, scalable power, and ruggedize design easily adapts to the demands of the mission. HELWS can be used as a standalone system or rapidly installed on a variety of platforms.

DARPA OFFSET

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, recently supported the fifth OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics, or OFFSET, DARPA program field exercise. Using integrated swarm technology developed by a Raytheon BBN-led team, a single operator successfully controlled a swarm – composed of 130 physical drone platforms and 30 simulated drone platforms – both indoors and outdoors in an urban setting.

DARPA OFFSET
Raytheon BBN-led team recently supported DARPA’s fifth OFFSET program field exercise

During the exercise, the team used a combination of commercial off-the-shelf and custom-built hardware and software to deliver swarm autonomy. This enabled a single or small group of operators to direct and manage the activities of a large swarm of autonomous air and ground vehicles with minimal training.

«Controlling a drone swarm changes the way an operator or group of operators think about the drones», said Shane Clark, Raytheon BBN OFFSET principal investigator. «Takeaways from this exercise help inform us of the inflection points between utility and manageability».

A key element of the program is the use of inexpensive hardware. Without powerful computing and sensing capabilities available in larger more expensive platforms, Raytheon BBN needed to create a broad library of simple tactic building blocks used to create plans to accomplish mission objectives. Raytheon BBN also designed and configured a scalable, modular and decentralized approach to manage a variety of current and future platforms and missions. Whenever possible the drones collaborate actively to decide how to accomplish a specific mission most efficiently.

«Our software is smart enough to assign drones with the right capabilities to the appropriate set of tasks», Clark said. «For example, if the task is to surveil a building, multiple drones will be dispatched with each surveilling portions of the building. The software considers each platform’s sensor capabilities, and tasks drones with downward facing cameras to surveil the roof».

Once the drones are deployed, their collaboration allows them to understand what parts of a building have been explored and where the gaps are. They then autonomously select how to fill in those gaps.

To tackle the complexities of human swarm interfaces, the Raytheon BBN team created a virtual reality interface, in addition to traditional camera views. It takes feeds from all the swarm assets to create an interactive virtual view of the environment.

«You can look behind the building to access a view of drone locations for example and use the virtual reality environment to test and see if your mission is viable. We also developed a speech interface with the operationally deployed Tactical Assault Kit, or TAK, integration capability that enables the operator to act quickly while maintaining situational awareness over many systems simultaneously», Clark said.

The Raytheon BBN-led team includes Smart Information Flow Technologies, or SIFT, and Oregon State University. The team is contracted by DARPA to demonstrate its swarm capabilities during Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment 2022, hosted by the Army Maneuver Battle Lab.

50kW-class laser

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, has been awarded a $123 million contract to build and deliver three additional combat-capable 50kW-class high-energy laser weapon systems as part of the U.S. Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, or DE M-SHORAD, program. RI&S is a subcontractor in an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement between the Army and Kord, a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR based in Huntsville, Alabama. The systems will be mounted on Stryker combat vehicles that the Army plans to deploy for field operations in 2022.

DE M-SHORAD
Raytheon Intelligence & Space to build mobile 50kW-class laser for U.S. Army

«The U.S. Army is leading the charge to give soldiers the first-ever operational capability of a mobile high-energy laser weapon», said Annabel Flores, vice president for Electronic Warfare Systems at RI&S. «Two years ago, the Army set a goal to deliver a powerful, maneuverable and proven laser system that was ready for operators to use in the field right away, and our team demonstrated that capability».

The award follows a U.S. Army DE M-SHORAD Combat Shoot-Off at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, this summer. RI&S’ solution was employed in a series of realistic scenarios designed to evaluate the performance of the system, establish threshold requirements for the laser and demonstrate its technical maturity and readiness. At the shoot-off, soldiers operated the system and effectively tracked, identified and engaged a variety of targets.

«In just a few days, soldiers went from training to operating the system and engaging targets to providing valuable feedback to our team that will help improve future systems», added Flores.

DE M-SHORAD will offer protection to maneuvering ground forces and equipment from threats such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS, rotary-wing aircraft, and rockets, artillery and mortars.

RI&S’ weapons system for DE M-SHORAD combines a 50kW-class High-Energy Laser, a beam director, an Electro-Optical and InfraRed (EO/IR) target acquisition and tracking system, and a Ku720 multi-mission radar. This gives soldiers an effective counter-UAS solution as well as providing counterintelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

Work for DE M-SHORAD will be performed in McKinney, Texas.

Defensive laser weapon systems can complement kinetic weapons during field missions by providing a low cost per kill, speed-of-light delivery and a deep magazine limited only by vehicle fuel.

Previously, RI&S also delivered three high-energy laser systems to the U.S. Air Force. The systems have accrued more than 9,000 hours during operator training and operational assessment. Raytheon Technologies’ counter-UAS solutions include sensors, and kinetic and non-kinetic effectors that, when networked into a command-and-control system, provide layers of air defense and force protection designed to meet a variety of threats.

Prototype Sensor

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, has received an award through an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the Consortium Management Group, Inc., on behalf of the Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace (C5) to demonstrate, develop, build and integrate prototype sensors for the U.S. Army’s next generation airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system, called High-Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System, or HADES.

HADES
Raytheon Intelligence & Space to provide prototype sensor for U.S. Army’s HADES

«In future peer-to-peer conflicts, long-distance sensing from very high altitudes will be key to enabling our forces to achieve their objectives for long-range, precision fires», said Michael Fisher, vice president and general manager of Raytheon Applied Signal Technology (AST) at RI&S.

The Other Transaction Authority agreement is for Phase 1 of the HADES Multi-Domain Sensing System, or MDSS, program to provide electronic intelligence and communications intelligence sensors. RI&S will demonstrate system capabilities that will help inform the design, upgrades and prototype fabrication of future phases of the program.

«Raytheon AST has a 35-plus year history of developing intelligence-collection sensors, as well as high-speed signal processing», said Fisher. «And solutions across RI&S cover a broad range of mission requirements that could define the future HADES program».

HADES will be a globally deployable platform that provides multi-faceted sensing capabilities at higher altitudes and longer ranges, and with longer endurance than current platforms.

Effort sponsored by the U.S. Government under Other Transaction number W15QKN-17-9-5555 between the Consortium Management Group, Inc., and the Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.

The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Government.

Precision Approach

The Joint Precision Approach and Landing System, also known as JPALS, made by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, is now deployed on two international platforms.

JPALS
JPALS system operational on the UK’s QNLZ and Italy’s Cavour

The system will be used to perform joint operations with the U.S. Marine Corps aboard the UK Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08). It is also installed on the ITS Cavour, an Italian aircraft carrier, the flagship of the Marina Militare, to support their F-35 Lightning II squadron.

JPALS, a differential GPS precision landing system, guides aircraft onto carriers and amphibious assault ships in all weather and surface conditions. The system is being deployed on all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. All F-35 Lightning II aircraft are equipped with JPALS capability, and the system is currently being used on the F-35B Lightning II and F-35C Lightning II.

«The Cavour JPALS is the first system to be permanently installed on a foreign ship», said Denis Donohue, vice president of Communications & Airspace Management Systems at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. «JPALS will add significant mission capabilities for our international allies and partners who are flying the F-35 Lightning II».

The system has completed flight testing and Category I and II certifications in preparation for deployments.

Next Generation Jammer

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, has completed Milestone C for the U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band, or NGJ-MB.

NGJ-MB
An EA-18G Growler from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, conducts a Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) flight test over Southern Maryland recently (U.S. Navy photo by Steve Wolff)

«We’re well into development testing. It’s time to move towards production», said Annabel Flores, vice president of Electronic Warfare Systems at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. «We’re ready to give the Navy and our Australian partners a leap forward towards the electromagnetic spectrum superiority they need».

The recommendation from the Milestone Decision Authority is based on the program’s achievements to date and an assessment of readiness to enter Low Rate Initial Production, or LRIP.

«The Milestone C decision drives home the stability and maturity of NGJ-MB», said Flores. «The system is ready for validation and LRIP, and we’re gearing up for the delivery of this critical capability to the fleet».

To date, NGJ-MB has successfully completed over 145 hours of developmental flight testing using Mission Systems and Aeromechanical pods. NGJ-MB has also completed over 3,100 hours of anechoic chamber and lab testing at Naval Air Stations Patuxent River, Maryland, and Point Mugu, California. Chamber tests evaluated the system’s performance both on and off the EA-18G Growler aircraft, in addition to jamming techniques and reliability testing.

NGJ-MB is the Navy’s advanced electronic attack system that offensively denies, disrupts and degrades enemy technology, including air-defense systems and communications. NGJ-MB uses the latest digital, software-based and Active Electronically Scanned Array technologies. This allows operators to non-kinetically attack significantly more targets and at greater distances.

AESA radar prototype

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, delivered the APG-79(V)4 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar prototype to the U.S. Marine Corps. The prototype allows for early flight testing and completion of weapon systems integration on the Hornet platform.

APG-79(V)4 AESA
Raytheon Intelligence & Space Delivered Prototype Radar to U.S. Marine Corps

The APG-79(V)4 is a scaled version of the APG-79 AESA radar that helps pilots detect and track enemy aircraft from farther distances and with more accuracy than the legacy APG-73 system. The radar’s improved targeting capabilities provide an edge in crucial operations including air-to-air, maritime strike and air-to-surface missions. Powered by gallium nitride (GaN), the APG-79(V)4 is the first domestic implementation of a GaN-based fire control radar, with GaN Transmit/Receive Modules embedded directly into the array.

«Aircrews must have access to new tools to support readiness», said Eric Ditmars, vice president of Secure Sensor Solutions for RI&S. «The upgrade to AESA radar offers increased reliability and sustainability for the customer, which equates to lower maintenance and repair costs, and increased aircraft availability».

The smaller radar shares much of the same parts and technology as the AN/APG-79 radar used in the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.

The first 25 production AESA radars will be delivered starting in December 2021 as part of the $83.6 million production contract awarded in 2020.

ISR aircraft

In a modern military conflict, the amount of information flying around can be overwhelming. Signals sail in from everywhere. Some of it is intelligence. Some of it is noise. It comes from friends and from foes. And it creates chaos.

Bombardier Global 6500
The Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance system, an aircraft that collects, analyzes and delivers near real-time intelligence and a highly accurate common operating picture, will help commanders make better-informed decisions

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, can help armed forces in the air and on the ground make sense of this increasingly crowded, complex and converged battlespace.

The company is proposing an aircraft called the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance system, or ISTAR. It would collect, analyze and deliver near real-time intelligence and a highly accurate common operating picture to help commanders make the right decisions.

«Our advanced multi-intelligence aircraft will sense, process and transmit copious amounts of information rapidly and at long range in highly contested environments», said Barbara Borgonovi, vice president of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems for RI&S.

The ISTAR would use multiple intelligence, or multi-INT, technology, in keeping with the demands of modern military technology. Multi-INT weaves in critical intelligence inputs from multiple sensors across the spectrum such as visuals, radio frequencies and electronic communications, among other signals, and it paints a clearer, multi-faceted picture of the adversary’s movements and changes in the battlespace.

«When the threat environment was a bit simpler, forces could really rely on one major sensor for their intelligence needs and capabilities», said Richard Sandifer, Korea ISTAR capture executive at RI&S. «A single, great radar was the only thing needed to understand what the enemy was doing. But it is not possible to get the total intelligence picture from just one radar anymore».

RI&S is partnering with aircraft maker Bombardier to modify its Global 6500 business jet. The airframe would be outfitted with multiple capabilities, including an advanced active electronically scanned array RF system, which combines ground moving target indicator capabilities with synthetic aperture modes; multi-spectral long range imagery, which provides visible and infrared intelligence and targeting information; and signals intelligence – an entire suite to deliver the precision and intelligence for making decisions and maintain the advantage of strategic surprise to spot and combat threats first.

In comparison to existing reconnaissance aircraft, RI&S’ ISTAR would fly longer, at higher altitudes and with more electrical power, enabling the plane to carry more capabilities.

«The increased power payload will help increase the sensing capability, as well as the capability for onboard processing and the entire platform», said Sandifer. The asset is large enough to scale, offering flexibility to the customer to add capabilities over time.

In particular, the system can employ advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to help ward off adversaries posturing from a distance and denying access to threats.

«Anti-access/Area Denial is everywhere», said Jason Colosky, ISRS business development executive, using a military term for suppressing an adversary’s movement. «So, you have to have an asset that has the time and duration to be in the air long enough to provide intelligence to commanders before deciding to queue firepower against the adversary. ISTAR has those capabilities, enabling the operators to see deep into a non-permissive environment».

The ISTAR system would offer a fully integrated battlefield management command-and-control processing capability, enabling service members at every operational level to strategically plan and cohesively execute missions in lockstep with their allies.

Additionally, the ISTAR fleet could help enforce maritime embargoes, monitor natural disasters, direct humanitarian aid, ensure border security and bolster missile defense.

«We have a heritage of providing reliable ISTAR capabilities that have been proven in contested theaters in support of allied operations by deploying the first international ISTAR-type aircraft in the United Kingdom», said Sandifer. «That operational experience and lessons learned are being applied to our latest smart ISR aircraft enabling operators to make accurate and fast decisions in the congested battlespace when it matters the most».