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Raytheon Scores GPS Modernized User Equipment Contract

April 17, 2008  - By
Image: GPS World

Raytheon Co. has won a $61 million U.S. Air Force contract from the GPS Wing to complete the development and certification of next-generation GPS receivers.

Under the Modernized User Equipment (MUE) program, circuit card technology will connect military users with new GPS navigation signals used in forthcoming enhanced GPS satellites. The receivers, which will be able to read the new M-code military signal, also will work effectively with legacy signal systems, Raytheon said.

“The MUE program is raising the capability of military GPS equipment while lowering the cost for the warfighter,” said Phil Kelton, MUE program manager for Raytheon’s GPS and navigation systems business. “Raytheon’s approach to MUE takes advantage of breakthroughs in microelectronics technology, coupled with advanced security solutions to enable higher performance and greater integrity at less cost than today’s systems.”

Kelton sees potential to achieve “true force-enhancing status” for military GPS capability though the proliferation of low-cost GPS modernized user equipment, according to the company. Raytheon is teamed on the program with General Dynamics and Trimble Navigation Systems.

“The award of this second phase of the systems design and development contract allows us to complete the custom building-blocks being developed for the next-generation M-code GPS receivers,” said Michael Crisp, director of Raytheon GPS and navigation systems. It is developing two different form factors for receiver cards; this will allow modular upgrades of Raytheon’s avionics, weapons and integrated sensor systems ahead of the full deployment of the GPS III satellite constellation, Crisp said.

In December of last year the U.S. Air Force also exercised a $50.7 million contract option with another contractor, Rockwell Collins, to complete part of the next phase of the MUE program. That work consists of receiver card development for ground and airborne applications, including test and security certification for next-generation GPS technology.

The Air Force awarded the initial MUE contract of $27.9 million to Rockwell Collins in 2006 to develop and demonstrate user segment receiver cards, establishing the first proof of design for the future GPS architecture. That contract, executed through October 2007, supported preliminary design of the modernized receiver cards.

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