Raytheon's rapid response to a request for Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems for US Air Force Predator unmanned surveillance aircraft, curr-ently in operation over Afghanistan, has paid off with a buoyant order book for more than 70 units.

The company's Air Combat & Strike Systems (AC&SS) Predator Rapid Reaction Team successfully developed and delivered three fully integrated Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (MTS) just 90 days after the contract was awarded.

The AM/AAS-52 MTS gathers intelligence remotely without risking human life, and provides imagery in real time from either its infrared (IR) or day TV sensors. It can also provide laser designation of enemy targets.

Jim Neu, Raytheon's director Airborne EO, says a typical development and delivery cycle on a first system of this type is 12-16 months.

The development, engineering support, manufacturing and delivery took place in McKinney Texas, and benefited from the US Government's Special Priority Assistance (SPA) and Raytheon's Six Sigma process to meet the delivery target.

Neu says international marketing of the MTS for Predator applications has not been instigated so far because of the commitment to the US business, but points out licences for NATO countries and other allies could help boost the order book in due course.

Raytheon officials acknowledged the landmark achievement could be the tip of the iceberg for future orders.

Source: Flight Daily News