Last Updated: 11/28/2012*

From guided artillery shells to tiny missiles, Raytheon is developing a new generation of highly accurate, cost-effective tools for the crowded spaces and chaotic streets of today’s battlefields.

 A new system for armored vehicles allows troops to look at civilians without pointing their weapons at them. Advanced shells bring missile-like accuracy to the most cost-effective weapon in the Army’s arsenal, the artillery gun. An upgraded target evaluator helps commanders tell hospitals and schools from enemy targets.

The tools give warfighters unprecedented flexibility in difficult surroundings, said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of land combat at Raytheon Missile Systems.

“The threats are constantly changing, and the way we counter them must evolve and change, too,” Lohmeier said.

Innovations include:

  • Excalibur Ib, an improved version of Raytheon’s famous guided artillery shell. The 155mm round can hit within 20 feet (six meters) of a target at a distance of 24 miles (40 kilometers). In February the U.S. Marine Corps struck a group of Taliban insurgents from 22 miles (36 kilometers) away using another variant of the Excalibur, the Ia-2.
     
  • BattleGuard, a weapons station for armored vehicles. BattleGuard’s electro-optical sensors allow troops to see twice as far as with competing technology. Operators can stow the weapon station and use only the sensor when operating around civilians, an important feature in urban settings. 
  • Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, a target evaluation system. In July the U.S. Army awarded Raytheon an $81 million contract to produce a new version of AFATDS. The system allows commanders to separate civilian buildings from actual targets, then direct an attack with mortars, close air support, naval gunfire, attack helicopters, offensive electronic warfare, field artillery cannons, rockets or guided missiles.
     
  • Javelin, the world’s most versatile, lethal, man-portable, medium-range, close-combat and surveillance weapon system. 
     
  • The tiny Pyros bomb and Griffin missile reduce collateral damage by delivering small, powerful warheads under precision guidance. Griffin weighs 33 pounds and is 43 inches long, while Pyros is even smaller, at 13 pounds and 22 inches. In August Pyros destroyed a target in its first live-fire test.
     
  • Talon, a low-cost add-on that provides precision to the hundreds of thousands of 2.75-inch, unguided rockets in the inventories of militaries worldwide.  The precision weapon features Raytheon’s common digital, semi-active laser that mates directly to the front of unguided rockets.

Raytheon has also developed a wireless version of its TOW missile. The TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wireless-guided) missile has hit targets 100 times out of 100 shots in testing, and this month the U.S. Army awarded Raytheon a $349 million contract for more than 6,600 of them.

 “It’s a passion of our engineers to constantly look for new technology that will enable our warfighters to engage threats as they evolve in the battlespace,” Lohmeier said.

 

 

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