New guided missile weapon system worth $60 million
WASHINGTON DC: Raytheon Technologies Corp. has landed a $60.4 million federal contract for work on a joint U.S.-German missile project.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based aerospace and defense conglomerate — formed this year through the merger of the former United Technologies Corp. and Raytheon Co. — will provide engineering support services for the naval MK-31 RAM guided missile weapons system, maintaining current operability while also resolving bugs through design, software, and logistics updates.
The work will be performed at Raytheon Missile Systems sites in Tucson, Arizona, and Louisville, Kentucky, and is expected to be completed by December 2021.
The MK-31 weapons system consists of infrared homing surface-to-air missiles, known as rolling airframe missiles or RAM, and the MK-49 launcher. It is a ship-based self-defense weapon, intended mainly for use against cruise missiles, and is in service aboard several American warship classes, including Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, Wasp-class amphibious assault ships, and littoral combat ships.
Design, production, distribution, and upgrades are handled by Raytheon and its German counterpart, Diehl Defence GmbH, which has its headquarters in Uberlingen, Baden-Wurttemberg. The U.S. and Germany have a memorandum of understanding governing periodic improvements to the system, including software modifications that enable RAM missiles to engage targets such as helicopters and other aircraft.
The U.S. Navy ultimately plans to purchase a total of 1,600 rolling airframe missiles and 115 launchers.
The deal represents another victory for Raytheon Technologies’s defense side, which is already enjoying a banner year due to appropriations included in the $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act. The economic outlook for space technologies, radar, missiles, and sensors is so positive that the company expects to hire about 8,200 people at its defense subsidiaries, Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Raytheon Intelligence & Space, in the coming years.
That projected growth, however, contrasts starkly with losses among Raytheon Technologies’s commercial aerospace operations, which include Collins Aerospace and East Hartford-based Pratt & Whitney. With far fewer people flying due to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting travel restrictions, demand for airplane engine repairs and other aeroparts has fallen dramatically, contributing to a second-quarter loss of almost $4 billion.
Earlier this month, CEO Gregory Hayes said the conglomerate will eliminate around 15,000 positions among Collins, Pratt, and Raytheon Technologies’s corporate offices.