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Boomerangs and the Big Picture: Raytheon Brings Sensors, Upgrades to Army Show

Microphones that can hear bullets over the roar of a helicopter, agile missiles that shoot down rockets and an infrared camera that allows armored vehicles to see over buildings will headline Raytheon’s annual technology showcase at a military trade show in Washington.

New add-ons like the Boomerang Air gunfir detector and cutting-edge upgrades are aimed at helping the Army squeeze more use from its existing equipment. The Waltham, Mass.-based defense contractor will be showing them at the Association of the United States Army expo on Oct. 21-23.

"It's all focused on the new heartbeat of the U.S. Army – a different size force, more agile, more globally fit," said Mike Olson, who oversees Raytheon's presence at the show. "We're aligning our technology with that."

Raytheon will feature:

The Accelerated Improved Intercept Initiative, a system based on the famous Sidewinder missile that shoots down rockets and unmanned aircraft. The system uses affordable components that already communicate with the Army's equipment.

Boomerang Air, a system for helicopters that can pinpoint a shooter over the sound of the aircraft's rotors. Raytheon already protects troops with wearable, vehicle-mounted and stationary versions of Boomerang.

A new, mast-mounted infrared camera that allows soldiers to peer over obstacles while staying inside their armored vehicles. The system, known as the Long-Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance Forward-Looking Infrared system, boasts Raytheon's thermal imaging technology.

Army Air Soldier, a wearable computer that connects helicopter pilots to battlefield information, ground troops and commanders--part of Raytheon's AWARE technology.

A new airborne sensor that includes its own locating software, allowing commanders to simply point at a target and feed information directly into a weapon. The sensor is part of Raytheon's popular Common Sensor Payload.

The Excalibur Ib, an advanced version of Raytheon's guided artillery shell.

Improvements to the Patriot air and missile defense system, including an upgraded radar processor, control station interface and software.

Clarity Edge, a new interface that allows warfighters to easily navigate intelligence data. It works with the Distributed Common Ground System-Army, which commanders use to collect and disseminate battlefield information.

Visitors will also get a glimpse of Raytheon's JLENS system of aerostats, or tethered airships, which the Army will soon test at the nearby Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Raytheon will fly a scale model over its AUSA display at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Many of the innovations are aimed at making better use out of existing technology, especially in radio and networking equipment, said Todd Lovell,  a technology director at Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business.

"The theme is squeezing the most bang for the buck out of existing infrastructure," Lovell said. "You're maximizing what you already have."

The latest advances allow soldiers to instantly share battlefield information rather than routing it through intelligence centers, he said.

During the show, social media users can follow along on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ -- as well as on Raytheon.com -- as the company unveils new systems and discusses its technology.

"The U.S. Army continues to look for ways to do more with less, be globally responsive and regionally engaged," said the vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Land Warfare Systems product line. "Our focus is ensuring customer success by giving the warfighter on the ground a decisive advantage."

Published: 10/28/2014

Last Updated: 07/07/2015

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