Ready to fight tonight
Enabling US Army readiness: missiles, cyber, sights and training
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis listed readiness as his first priority in a budget memo issued in 2017.
"I have been shocked by what I've seen with our readiness to fight," he told the House Armed Services Committee in a written statement.
Readiness means providing a ready response to an Army critical need within 18 months. Raytheon helps to enable U.S. Army readiness with new innovations and practical upgrades of tested technologies, from sensors to weapons to the training that will prepare our troops for the battlefield of the future.
“Over the last year, I’ve met with the Army numerous times and I fully understand the mandate for readiness,” said Kim Ernzen, vice president of Raytheon Land Warfare Systems.
Readiness goes hand-in-hand with the company's approach to “overmatch,” or the ability to dominate an adversary. The following represent some of the ways the company is enabling readiness:
In 2017, Raytheon added proximity fuzes to the Stinger® air defense missile, enabling it to defeat small, agile threats such as terrorist and adversary drone attacks. This new capability has been qualified and can be fielded immediately. The proximity fuze will be integrated into the Stinger missile as part of a Service Life Extension Program.
The Stinger weapon system is a lightweight, self-contained air defense system that can be rapidly deployed by ground troops and on military platforms.
Last year, the company also responded to the Army’s urgent need to protect ground troops with mobile air defense by demonstrating the Stinger missile on a Stryker armored fighting vehicle.
From hardening defense systems against intruders to protecting critical infrastructure and data, Raytheon has long offered effective shields against cyber threats.
The U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia, is training soldiers for cyberspace — the newest battlefield. According to Bill Leigher, a former admiral and director of Raytheon’s government cyber programs, conducting a cyber operation should come as easily as using a rifle.
"Bringing cyber to the front lines requires making the capability scalable and usable by soldiers,” Leigher said. “This means integrating current ,keyboard-based tradecraft into cyber weapons systems that soldiers can be trained to use. This will put cyber weapons in the hands of those who need them most: soldiers on the front lines.”
The company has trained every U.S. Army soldier, at more than 500 sites across the globe, for nearly a decade.
Javelin Weapon System
Last year, the Army unveiled Javelin anti-armor missiles for the Stryker fighting vehicle.
Raytheon engineers developed the electronics interface to use the missile not only ground vehicles, but also marine and aviation craft.
The Stryker/Javelin combination will help the Army’s 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Europe to maneuver and face armored threats in new ways.
Fire control is traditionally associated with tanks, drones, aircraft and ships, where many components work together to hit a target. Raytheon’s digital fire-control system will allow a shooter to engage faster and with more accuracy.
“Digital capabilities change the game,” said former U.S. Marine Ricky Freeman of Raytheon Optical Technologies.
The system, which weighs three pounds and measures three inches by four inches, is the only such system small enough for assault rifles. It mounts onto the standard rail with a clamp, and it can be removed easily for use on other firearms.
Raytheon is developing the system for the Army. It could be available to soldiers as early as this year.
“If you propose a technology and aren’t ready to present it in a fieldable environment, then you aren’t relevant,” Freeman said.
The U.S. Army is training to fight alongside its military allies, with many exercises in Europe.
To allow more allies to participate in exercises, Raytheon developed the Mobile Instrumentation System, which uses sensors, cameras and controllers to blend live and virtual training. It allows for multi-echelon training for commanders, staff and thousands of solders across borders.
Joint training means readiness, preparing the U.S. to move forward with its allies.