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Raytheon Receives $165 million in Army Thermal Weapon Sight Contracts; Doubles Production Rates to Meet Troops' Needs

MCKINNEY, Texas, May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- As U.S. troops rotate to active duty stations in the Middle East, they will need thousands of Thermal Weapon Sights (TWS) to equip their government-issued personal and crew-served weapons.

In response, the Army has asked Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) to double its production rates from 400 to more than 1,000 units per month and deliver 9,956 new TWS systems for soldiers. By September, the ramp up will exceed 800 weapon sights per month, as the company aims for a November production target of 1,050 units.

The Army's AN/PAS-13 program comprises a family of advanced thermal imaging sensors that improves soldiers' surveillance, targeting and combat effectiveness 24 hours a day, in zero illumination and in obscurants such as fog, smoke, dust and sandstorms. Based on infrared technology, the TWS family allows dismounted soldiers to "own the night."

In recent months, Raytheon has received three TWS awards totaling more than $165 million. The awards cover production of light, medium and heavy thermal weapon sights, expansion of the company's Dallas manufacturing facility, and product improvements.

The company is now expanding its integration and test facility, ordering and building test equipment, and preparing for the manufacturing ramp up. With the anticipated 2005 contract completion, the company will have delivered more than 26,000 TWS systems to the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces. Raytheon is the only government-qualified supplier of AN/PAS-13 light, medium, and heavy weapon sights.

Col. John Norwood, U.S. Army program manager for Soldier Equipment, said, "Thermal Weapon Sights are being fielded as quickly as they are delivered to support the needs of U.S. Forces. The Raytheon TWS is a combat overmatch capability that significantly increases warfighter situational awareness, detection and survivability in extreme conditions and combat environments. We are increasing production rates at Raytheon in order to meet our soldiers' needs."

Glynn Raymer, vice president of Raytheon Combat Systems added, "Delivery of these critically needed thermal weapon sights will help our soldiers continue to fight the global war on terrorism, complete their missions safely and return to their families unharmed. It doesn't get more important than that."

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 contracting agency is the U.S. Army's Communication and Electronics Command on behalf of Program Executive Office Soldier at Ft. Belvoir, Va. TWS will equip the following weapons: Light TWS units for M-16s, M-4s and M- 136s, Medium TWS for M-249s and M-240s and Heavy TWS for M-2s, M-16, M-4 and MK-19.

Photos available on request.

Contact: Patricia Perlini 972.952.4033

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