Navy Exercises $52 Million Option for Raytheon's Mine Hunting Sonar

TEWKSBURY, Mass., Nov. 28, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) a $52 million contract for the low rate initial production of nine new AN/AQS-20A sonar mine detecting sets, spares and their accompanying kits.

The award represents the exercising of options under the Navy's existing AN/AQS-20A contract with Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, bringing the total contract value to $191 million and increasing the total number of systems ordered to 20.

AN/AQS-20A, a key component of the U.S. Navy's organic mine countermeasures strategy, has been integrated into the MH-60S, MH-53E airborne mine countermeasures helicopter and the remote mine hunting system. It provides critical capabilities in support of mine-clearing operations in both deep-ocean and littoral waters by enabling the detection, classification and localization of bottom, close-tethered and volume mines.

"The Navy has performed extensive testing on the system, running it through a broad range of scenarios on numerous platforms, and the results have been outstanding," said Gary Humes , program manager at the U.S. Navy's Mine Warfare program office (PMS-495). "AN/AQS-20A continues to perform exceptionally, providing an invaluable asset to the Navy's mine countermeasure strategy."

The proven and highly capable AN/AQS-20A system is towed undersea to scan the water in front and to the sides of the vehicle, as well as the sea bottom for anti-shipping mines. The system uses sonar and electro-optical sensors to provide high-resolution images of mines and mine-like objects, as well as high-precision location information.

AN/AQS-20A is modular, lightweight and produced under spiral development, enabling continuous improvement, serviceability and plug-and-play capability. Additionally, the system's advanced technology combines with commercial off- the-shelf components to significantly reduce production costs and allows for easy upgrade and replacement of individual assembly parts. A significant benefit of AN/AQS-20A is its modularity, a capability that allows the Navy to operate the system across a variety of platforms.

Under the contract, Raytheon will deliver nine AN/AQS-20A sonar mine- detecting sets, seven installation kit electronics equipment packages and two remote minehunting system towed body modification kits. To date, the company has delivered 10 AN/AQS-20A systems to the Navy. The system is currently undergoing technical evaluation as part of the Navy's mine countermeasure operational testing - the final stage before official fleet deployment.

AN/AQS-20A engineering and support services will be performed at Raytheon IDS' Maritime Mission Center, Portsmouth , R.I., and by Arete Associates, Tucson , Ariz.

Integrated Defense Systems is Raytheon's leader in Joint Battlespace Integration providing affordable, integrated solutions to a broad international and domestic customer base, including the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Armed Forces and the Department of Homeland Security.

Raytheon Company, with 2006 sales of $20.3 billion, is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 85 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.

SOURCE Raytheon Company