Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Raytheon has been awarded $65.6 million for repairs on the Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared systems used on the F/A-18 fighter aircraft.
Work on the contract, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, is expected run through December 2020, and will mostly be preformed in Texas and Florida.
The AFLIR is an infrared sensor pod designed to detect enemy aircraft, vessels and other targets emitting a heat signature from engines. Raytheon claims that AFLIR can spot targets over 45 miles away and at altitudes exceeding 50,000 feet.
The system is pod-based and meant for "plug-and-play" installation on a variety of platforms. It can be networked with other sensor systems and can transmit data to other aircraft and ships, according to Raytheon.
Infrared sensors have the advantage of being passive in nature, meaning that there is no signal like active radar which can alert a potential enemy.
The F/A-18 series of multirole fighters is capable of operating from airfields and aircraft carriers. It is designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground mission, and can carry a variety of weapons ranging from air-to-air missiles to precision-guided bombs and long-range standoff munitions.