18 Jun 03. As we stated in our article BATTLESPACE PARIS NEWS 2003, DAY 3 JUNE 18TH 2001, TIPS – LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE, Raytheon gave BATTLESPACE a briefing on its Co-operative Trans-Atlantic AGS System (CTAS).
Bob Bushnell from Raytheon Systems in El Segundo clarified the details of the Raytheon BAE Systems CTAS bid, “CTAS is a truly international bid with our partner BAE. We are basing the bid on experience gained form the UK ASTOR bid but CTAS is not ASTOR. The platform will be the same Bombardier Global Express as used on ASTOR and we believe by leveraging this experience onto AGS that we are offering a mature risk-free solution.”
This statement is in stark contrast to previous statements from Raytheon’s UK operation RSL, which in previous discussions had suggested that the best way forward for NATO AGS was for RSL to offer ASTOR as the solution. RSL suggested at one time that the UK ASTOR fleet could be combined with a NATO fleet to provide all NATO requirements.
“We are late in the game but we believe that our bus-jet solution combined with a choice of UAVs decided by the customer provides the cheapest solution. All the engineering work on the airframe has been carried out for ASTOR and AGS will require the insertion of the TCAR radar,” Bushnell continued.
BATTLESPACE asked Bushnell about the logistic back-up for the fleet. “Broughton would be the ideal solution for the AGS fleet to work into the ASTOR system. However the UK has not committed funds for AGS and we are looking for other European partners. BAE Systems is well placed to provide these through its European JVs.”
This appears to be something of a late bid by Raytheon to get into AGS and with the TIPS team having gained the support of the bulk of Europe’s and Canada’s main manufacturing partners, the industrial solution will be the hardest to crack. However access to the AGS requirement could well provide the UK with an incentive to join the TCAR radar project, involving BAE, which could then be used as a possible mid-life upgrade for the ASTOR fleet, rumoured to be in 2015.