Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that it has been awarded a $12.6 M contract by Raytheon Co., Tucson, AZ. Under the contract, Agilent will deliver an advanced, next-generation automated manufacturing test platform. Raytheon expects this new platform to provide benefits in cycle time, test equipment utilization and labor content.

Raytheon will initially use the system for functional and diagnostic testing of components within missile guidance systems. The system can be expanded to accommodate new requirements as well as new test strategies intended to further reduce the overall cost of testing.

The project is a joint effort in which each company will apply its respective expertise. "Through this type of collaborative innovation, Raytheon and Agilent are working to help transform our approach to production testing," said Louise Francesconi, president, Raytheon Missile Systems. "Agilent brings expertise in precise measurement systems and applying their use in an automated setting."

Using this automated approach, Raytheon plans to replace 17 stand-alone test systems with seven capable of automated testing.

"Our relationship with Raytheon is an example of our focus on bringing Agilent's proven testing approaches to leading manufacturers in aerospace and defense," said Pat Byrne, president of Agilent's Electronic Measurements Group. "By working as a combined Agilent/Raytheon team, the completed solution will be installed in much less time than with traditional test-process projects."

Raytheon will benefit from Agilent's internal experience with high mix/low volume RF automated manufacturing test under environmental conditions.