Raytheon has been chosen by the US Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to continue work on the Advanced Tactical Targeting Technology (AT³) programme.

An $8.7 million contract running to August 2004 has been awarded for the second AT³ phase, covering development and demonstration of a next-generation passive tactical targeting system designed to destroy surface-to-air missile systems at a range of up to 280km (150nm). AT³ is intended to be accurate to 15-50m (50-165ft), with target acquisition accomplished within seconds of a threat radar being turned on.

Raytheon and Lockheed Martin won $6.5 million contracts for the 14-month first phase involving analysis, simulation and technology development. Raytheon will now enter the 22-month second phase, which includes flight demonstrations in fiscal year 2002.

AT³ would make any tactical aircraft that is compatible with global positioning system (GPS)-guided munitions capable of a suppression of enemy air defences role, reducing the need for fighters. GPS would also determine the co-ordinates of enemy air defences.

Source: Flight International