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The US Navy awarded Raytheon a $255 million contract for development and production readiness of its next generation precision landing system. The Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) uses GPS satellite navigation to provide more accurate landing guidance for manned and unmanned aircraft, replacing radar and beacons used in older systems. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the value to $270 million.

Raytheon will complete development for an auto-land capability to be used by both manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as finalise the integration with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The first aircraft to be equipped with JPALS technology. When operational in 2018, the US Navy and US Marine Corps will use JPALS on the F-35C carrier variant, F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant, and the MQ-25A multi-mission unmanned vehicle.

The JPALS solution revolutionises landings for manned and unmanned military aircraft,” Dave Wajsgras, President of Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business, said. “Aviators will be able to trust this technology to provide safe, secure, and reliable landing guidance, at any time of day, in all kinds of weather and environments.”

Developed in partnership with the US Navy to provide pinpoint landing guidance on carriers in rough seas, JPALS is tailorable to a wide range of environments including contingency operations requiring rapid deployment, or land-based airfields with curved, segmented and specialised approaches; and can integrate and modernise landing systems on legacy aircraft for joint interoperability. According to Raytheon, JPALS improves navigational alignment prior to approach, allowing aircraft to land on any aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship, day or night, even in adverse weather conditions. As the only military ground-based augmentation system in the world, the system features anti-jam protection to ensure mission continuity throughout a range of threat environments.

Rockwell Collins has received a $67 million, six-year contract from Raytheon in support of the US Navy and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to complete the subsystem development required for production of its next generation JPALS.

- Mönch Publications - Latest Issues -

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