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Raytheon Co. has been awarded a US Air Force contract to conduct a utility evaluation of the Lock-On-After-Launch™ (LOAL) variant of the AGN-65 Maverick missile. The $5.3 M contract, awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, includes up to six captive flight missions. The purpose of the flight missions is to evaluate the functional capability and utility of the newest Maverick missile concept, which provides man-in-the-loop end-game control for precise attacks at greater standoff range against stationary and moving targets. Flight missions will be conducted by the 46th Test Wing and monitored by the 53rd Wing, both at Eglin. The goal of the program is to conduct a user demonstration to evaluate the capability of the LOAL Maverick concept. The LOAL Maverick utility evaluation can also serve as a blueprint for future US Air Force weapons initiatives including weapons-compatible datalinks, network-smart weapons, “plug-and-play integration” of weapons on platforms, modernized tests and training ranges, and improved agile combat support. “The LOAL Maverick utility evaluation will showcase Raytheon’s capability to integrate current designs and existing components to demonstrate the feasibility for three of the five focus areas identified at the US Air Force’s recent Air Armament Summit,” according to Chuck Pinney, Maverick program director at Raytheon. Maverick is a precision, air-to-ground missile that is used against small, hard targets; armored vehicles; surface-to-air missile sites; and high value targets such as ships, port facilities and communications centers. The missile has a launch-and-leave capability to enable the pilot to lock onto the target, launch the Maverick and then take evasive action. Work on the option will occur primarily at Raytheon’s Missile Systems business unit in Tucson, AZ, and is scheduled to be complete in April 2005. Key subsystems to the LOAL Maverick will be produced by Tadiran Spectralink, Holon, Israel; Raytheon Precision Guidance Systems, El Segundo, CA; Raytheon Networked Communications Systems, Fullerton, CA; and EDO M Tech, Huntingdon Valley, PA.
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