RTX’s Raytheon to deliver DEFEND program prototypes

Raytheon, an RTX business, will design, build and test two high-power microwave antenna systems that will use directed energy to defeat airborne threats at the speed of light. The systems are designed to be rugged and transportable for front-line deployment, RTX announced December 19.

Under the three-year, $31.3 million contract from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Raytheon will deliver prototype systems to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force as part of the Directed Energy Front-line Electromagnetic Neutralization and Defeat (DEFEND) program.

“Non-kinetic defense systems are a key part of America’s national defense strategy,” said Colin Whelan, president of advanced technology at Raytheon. “The new iterations of Raytheon’s high-power microwave systems are cost-effective and reliable solutions that operate at the speed of light – enabling our warfighters to defend against faster and more maneuverable threats.”

Raytheon has been a leader in the use of high-power microwaves for nearly 80 years. The new HPM prototype systems build on Raytheon’s decades of experience developing capabilities like the Counter-Electronic High Power Microwave Extended Range Air Base Defense, known as CHIMERA.

Work on this contract is being conducted in Tucson, Arizona in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Prototypes are expected to be delivered in fiscal years 2024 and 2026.

Source: RTX

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