The Air Traffic Navigation,
Integration and Coordination
System (ATNAVICS) real-world
mission expanded far beyond its original
requirements. How can Raytheon
ensure continued mission success?
Raytheon Network Centric Systems'
Specialty Systems Engineering faced this
challenge when ATNAVICS was deployed in
the Middle East.
ATNAVICS (AN/TPN-31) provides air traffic
management at temporary airfields in
remote locations. This three-surveillance sensor
ground control approach system
includes a sensor vehicle (containing primary,
secondary and precision approach
radars, and associated electronics) and an
operations vehicle (containing two controller
workstations and radar data processing,
communications and situation displays).
The vehicles can be stationed up to one
kilometer apart. For the Middle East mission,
ATNAVICS uses the AN/FPN-67 Fixed-
Base Precision Approach Radar (FBPAR).
The prime customer is the U.S. Army
Product Management Air Traffic Control
Systems, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala.,
and the sustainment customer is the U.S.
Army Communications and Electronics
Command (CECOM) in Fort Monmouth, N.J.
Under the ATNAVICS/FBPAR National
Maintenance Contract, Raytheon provides
intermediate and depot-level support to
keep operational 46 fielded ATNAVICS
systems deployed worldwide at U.S.
Raytheon provides 24/7 technical reachback
support, primarily by phone. If the
initial phone call does not resolve the issue, a field service representative (FSR) travels to
the site to perform further troubleshooting
All of Raytheon's engineering resources are
used to resolve ATNAVICS systems issues.
For example, senior engineers have been
deployed to sites for firsthand data collection
and problem solving, and engineering
fellows have analyzed performance issues,
provided feedback and furnished a road
map for system enhancements. The experience
that design engineers obtain by dealing
with real-world issues also helps them
perform upgrades and new systems design.
The Expanded Mission
ATNAVICS was designed to provide 30-day
deployments at various locations. When
post-deployment refurbishment time is
factored in, an ATNAVICS system can be
used for about three deployments annually.
The real-world application, however,
requires 24/7 performance at the same
location for several years. The system must
also function in an environment quite different
from that for which it was designed.
In late 2005, during the Kuwait deployment,
ATNAVICS units required support that
was inconsistent with the maintenance
schedule. The first question was, "Why is
this happening?" Then, when it became clear that ATNAVICS was being used far
differently than its design requirements
had specified, the question became, "How
can Raytheon ensure this expanded
Responding to the Challenge
Raytheon, with its CECOM customer,
researched these issues and instituted
proactive processes to harden ATNAVICS to
endure the increased duty cycle and harsh
The Human Factor
- To quickly discover and solve problems,
Raytheon partnered with the government
to find more ways — such as site visits
and e-mail — to gather field data and
- To reduce downtime, Raytheon, with
CECOM, developed several engineering
and sustainment scenarios that enabled
the team to support the changing mission.
For these scenarios, Raytheon
determined the spares needed for the
expanded mission and then worked with
the customer to find sources for these
components and forward-deploy them.
- To ensure that mission-specific issues
were addressed, Raytheon performed
preventive maintenance more often and
revised, supplemented or replaced maintenance
procedures. Raytheon also
worked with the customer to eliminate or
reduce environmental wear on the system.
- To leverage existing solutions, the team
sought and applied lessons learned
from Raytheon teams supporting other
products — such as Patriot — that are
used in similar environments.
To retain the confidence of the diverse
ATNAVICS user community, it is important to
diagnose and fix problems quickly and completely.
The team therefore sought internal
criteria that would help meet or exceed customer
expectations. It found that the major
contributor to a successful customer relationship
is a high-quality FSR. Analysis showed
that stringent candidate screening profiles
revealed the best candidates, so it uses these
profiles, tailoring them for contract-unique
needs. Candidates hired via this process are
significantly more effective as FSRs right
away, and they perform exceptionally well —
both technically and interpersonally.
Bringing a Raytheon face to end users shows
that the team cares about its products and,
more importantly, about the people who rely
on its products. The team also works with
customers to develop and forward-deploy
spares stores, most notably to support
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). These assets
have helped reduce system downtime by
providing needed spares in days rather
In this, the fifth year of active operations in
this region, the team has achieved exceptional
operational availability. This success,
however, motivates it to seek even more
ways to better support the warfighter. For
example, the most recent tour of OIF systems
provided invaluable firsthand information
from warfighters and Supply Chain personnel
that will help the team provide better
ATNAVICS Program Manager Jim Bessette
reported, "Our hands-on approach and customer
partnering have resulted in marked
improvements to system availability and
improved customer satisfaction." The
ongoing government–Raytheon partnering
will ensure that the ATNAVICS mission will
continue to be accomplished in a timely,
Michael P. Maloney