From the Laboratory to the Practice Range, Missile Tech Goes International
High over a New Mexico mountain range, a jet-powered drone turned toward the sun, leveled its wings and began an attack run on a simulated target deep in the desert.
The speedy drone was invisible to the naked eye – but not to a Patriot air and missile defense battery waiting in the brush below. With a sudden roar, a missile streaked from the Patriot's launcher, swooped down on the attacker and exploded at a distance calculated to spare the drone so it could be used for another flight. Another perfect interception.
"Watching your product perform perfectly – it never gets old," said James Guarnotta, a Raytheon manager, as the smoke cloud dissipated in the sky.
This practice launch in September was conducted by foreign troops, part of a growing trend as other countries choose Raytheon's missile technology to help defend their borders. The company is featuring many of those products and partnerships at the Dubai Airshow this week.
On Monday company officials briefed reporters on advances in the Patriot program, which is used by 12 nations, and announced a $176 million contract to produce 842 Block I Javelin missile rounds and 120 launchers for Oman, Jordan, Indonesia, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps.
The company has also test-fired a Javelin from the CENTURION missile launcher it is developing with Britain's Chemring Group, company officials said.
"We're bringing an entirely new dimension to ship self-defense," said Rick Nelson, a vice president at Raytheon Missile Systems.
Earlier this month, Raytheon announced a key milestone in another major international partnership, the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA program. Raytheon and its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, successfully passed a Critical Design Review, moving the new missile interceptor from design to testing.
In another major milestone, Raytheon received the 1,000th AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-To-Air Missile (AMRAAM) rocket motor from Nammo Group, a leading propulsion products company based in Norway.
AMRAAM has been procured by 36 countries and is operational and integrated on the F-16, F-15, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado, Harrier, F-4, and the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
Such partnerships – from the laboratory all the way to the missile range – are a hallmark of Raytheon's international strategy, company officials said.
"Success in the global marketplace is based on relationships," said Matt Riddle, president of Raytheon International, Inc. "We partner closely with our customers to help them address and solve their most challenging issues."
Last Updated: 05/05/2015