A century of air power

Raytheon UK marks Royal Air Force centennial with RAF100 support

Century of air power lead image

The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force operates a fleet of Raytheon-equipped Sentinels. These sophisticated military intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance, or ISTAR, aircraft are fitted with a dual mode radar, two transportable ground stations and six mobile technical ground stations. (Photo: Geoff Lee)

From Sopwith to Spitfire to Sentinel, the Royal Air Force has been on the frontier of aviation for every one of its 100 years.

As the RAF celebrates its centennial, Raytheon is helping mark the occasion with sponsorship of two key events: the 2018 RAF Engineering Challenge and the RAF100 Baton Relay.

“Many of Raytheon’s 1,600 employees in the U.K. work right alongside the RAF every day to support and maintain their aircraft and weapons,” said Richard Daniel, Raytheon UK chief executive and managing director. "Sponsoring these two important events is just part of Raytheon’s overall support of the RAF on its 100th birthday.”

The Engineering Challenge is designed to inspire young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math, the subjects collectively known as STEM. Students will compete to come up with the best idea that will benefit the RAF over the next 100 years.

The Baton Relay will commemorate 100 years of the RAF by transporting the baton to 100 locations with current or historical RAF connections, both in the United Kingdom and around the globe.

The baton will stop at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, where Raytheon UK supports the Sentinel aircraft, and Broughton, North Wales, where the company performs systems integration work for the Airborne Stand-Off Reconnaissance, or ASTOR, program.

The challenge will coincide with the U.K.'s National Year of the Engineer, an initiative aimed at bridging the skills gap within the industry. The sector faces a shortfall of about 20,000 engineering graduates a year.

As part of the centennial celebration, Raytheon also made a financial contribution to the RAF100 Appeal, a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and four major RAF charities. The appeal will support young people entering into STEM careers, the armed forces and veterans.

For the past three years, Raytheon UK has sponsored a Quadcopter Challenge, a competition that shows young people one of the many exciting applications of STEM.

Raytheon’s relationship with the RAF dates back to the late 1930s, when the A.C. Cossor Company, acquired by Raytheon in 1961, developed the radar receiver and associated radio communications network for the Chain Home defence system. The receiver provided invaluable support to the RAF’s outnumbered pilots during the Battle of Britain.

Today, the company supports the Royal Air Force with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, such as Sentinel and Shadow, and weapon systems carried by the RAF’s Tornado, Typhoon and F-35 aircraft.

“Raytheon has a long and distinguished history of supporting the Royal Air Force,” said RAF Air Commodore Richard Barrow, head of the Air Staff. “We value our relationship with Raytheon as an industry partner and are grateful for the company’s partnership on RAF100.”

Last Updated: 03/26/2018