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Air Force Approves $5.3 Million Raytheon Maverick Variant Evaluation

TUCSON, Ariz., May 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has been awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to conduct a utility evaluation of the Lock-On-After-Launch(TM) (LOAL) variant of the AGM-65 Maverick missile.

The $5.3 million contract, awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., includes up to six captive flight missions. The purpose of the flight missions is to evaluate the functional capability and utility of the newest Maverick missile concept, which provides man-in-the-loop end-game control for precise attacks at greater standoff range against stationary and moving targets. Flight missions will be conducted by the 46th Test Wing and monitored by the 53rd Wing, both at Eglin.

The goal of the program is to conduct a user demonstration to evaluate the capability of the LOAL Maverick concept. The LOAL Maverick utility evaluation can also serve as a blueprint for future U.S. Air Force weapons initiatives including weapons-compatible datalinks, network-smart weapons, "plug-and-play integration" of weapons on platforms, modernized test and training ranges, and improved agile combat support.

"We are very excited to be working with the 46th Test Wing, the 53rd Operational Test Wing, and Raytheon on this effort. We are pleased with the direction this captive flight series is taking," said James Moore, chief, Flight Integration Branch, Air Force Research Lab, Munitions Directorate.

The LOAL Maverick utility evaluation will showcase Raytheon's capability to integrate current designs and existing components to demonstrate the feasibility for three of the five focus areas identified at the U.S. Air Force's recent Air Armament Summit, according to Chuck Pinney, Maverick program director at Raytheon. "We will integrate a digital weapon datalink, Global Positioning System/ Inertial Navigation System, a UHF network datalink radio, and design the missile and Maverick launcher upgrades so they are transparent to any Maverick-capable aircraft -- true plug-and-play integration," Pinney said.

"We look forward to demonstrating the feasibility of utilizing existing technology and the operational Situational Awareness Data Link network. This capability could significantly enhance the aircrew's situation awareness by transmitting imagery over the network and displaying it on the cockpit displays without changing the aircraft operational flight program," Pinney added. "The utility evaluation will provide invaluable information for the U.S. Air Force to move forward with integrating armaments into the global information grid."

Maverick is a precision, air-to-ground missile that is used against small, hard targets; armored vehicles; surface-to-air missile sites; and high-value targets such as ships, port facilities and communications centers. The missile has launch-and-leave capability to enable the pilot to lock onto the target, launch the Maverick and then take evasive action.

Work on the option will occur primarily at Raytheon's Missile Systems business unit in Tucson, Ariz., and is scheduled to be complete in April 2005. Key subsystems of the LOAL Maverick will be produced by Tadiran Spectralink, Holon, Israel (command and video digital data link); Raytheon Precision Guidance Systems, El Segundo, Calif. (GPS Aided Inertial Navigation Systems); Raytheon Networked Communications Systems, Fullerton, Calif. (UHF Network Data Link Radio); and EDO M Tech, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. (LOAL(TM) Launcher Electronics Assembly).

Raytheon Company, with 2003 sales of $18.1 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 78,000 people worldwide.

Note to editors:

The LOAL Maverick concept is envisioned as a potential upgrade or modification to the existing and proven Maverick weapon system. This upgrade provides Maverick with the capability for man-in-the-loop end-game control for precise attacks through and/or under weather against pre-planned fixed targets, stationary targets of opportunity and moving or relocatable targets.

The upgrade also makes possible Maverick launches at significantly greater standoff ranges and altitudes, without requiring pilot line-of-sight to the target. It enables the weapon to be deployed from various altitudes and ranges which provides target planners additional flexibility for employing the Maverick weapon system in evolving rules of engagement). Additionally, the LOAL Maverick includes a the capability that allows real-time data updates to and from the Command and Control (C2) network, enables attacks against moving/relocatable targets, providing situational-awareness depiction of friendly forces and Zones of Exclusion, and providing limited endgame imagery feedback to the C2 network.

Alan D. Fischer

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