Raytheon starts next phase of close air support project

Feb. 5, 2014 at 12:42 PM
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TUCSON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Raytheon is beginning a $25.5 million third phase of a U.S. military project to improve persistent close air support of ground forces, the company announced.

The Phase 3 Persistent Close Air support program work will be carried out over an 18-month period and will culminate in flight tests and life-fire tests to demonstrate that PCAS software developed could enable ground troops to receive close air support sooner by improving coordination among joint terminal attack controllers, airborne sensors and weapons.

PCAS, a program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is designed to improve human-machine interfaces for both ground and air personnel. It inserts autonomous algorithms in the decision chain and digitally sends shared situational awareness messages.

"Our ground troops deserve the quickest response possible when close air support is needed," said Thomas R. Bussing, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Advanced Missile Systems product line. "Raytheon's PCAS solution is designed to reduce the minutes it takes to deliver that critical support, and give warfighters the most effective protection possible."

The program was originally for the Air Force's A-10 Thunderbolt but was later expanded for use by other aircraft.

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