RAYTHEON OFFERS NETWORK CENTRIC CTAS SOLUTION FOR NATO AGS
16 Sep 03. Raytheon gave an in-depth briefing of its Cooperative Transatlantic Ground Surveillance System (CTAS) to a large audience in Brussels on Tuesday.
Susan Baumgarten, President of Raytheon International Inc. put her personal stamp on the project opening the briefing with an outline to the CTAS offering and the importance of the Network Centric Solution provided by raytheon. She gave the audience an in-depth snapshot of the breadth of Raytheon’s capabilities in this area from its involvement in RTIP and MC2A to its U2 radar activities and more crucially its ASTOR contract with the UK.
Dr Richard Anderson, Vice President Integrated Airborne Systems, gave an overview to the timescale of the project. NATO has funded €1.5 for the AGS project giving both teams, Northrop Grumman and raytheon €500,00 each to undertake a study into the programme to be presented in November 2003. A downselect to one contractor will be made in March 2004 with a concept definition study to December 04 when the design and development phase for the €3bn project will be initiated.
“The desire for an alternative candidate for NATO AGS goes back to 1996”, Anderson told BATTLESPACE, “The ASTOR concept now fully mature, with all the bugs ironed out meets the NATO requirement. The UK government and Raytheon have invested millions of dollars in the ASTOR project and we believe that our solution to bring this system into NATO AGS provides the least risk. Our aircraft, the Bombardier Global Express (GX) is now fully certified to carry the ASARS-2 radar and the multi-national TCAR radar will fit perfectly into the GX with the minimum of engineering changes. Also the timeframe for fielding of AGS, 2010, fits well into the ASTOR programme and allows the minimum of disruption to the engineering programme. TECAR will also be considered for the ASTOR upgrade programme slated for 2012, this would give a common fleet. The TCAR radar has €1bn of funding and development is running in parallel with the AGS solution. It is expected that once three working systems are produced by 2007 that the Prime Contractor for AGS will take over as Prime for TCAR”
“However, the UK has yet to decide on its stance for NATO AGS and is not a financial partner having committed substantial funds for the ASTOR project. Rumours that the UK would offer the ASTOR fleet in kind as part of its share in AGS has yet to be confirmed,” Baumgarten told BATTLESPACE
Bob Bushell then gave an overview to the Raytheon offering, “The Raytheon solution for AGS offers a complete network centric solution, giving the operator huge access to a number of ISTAR platforms. We do not believe that the best solution lies in processing the imagery in the air, this causes stove pipe solutions and does not offer the flexibility of a network centric solution,” Bushnell told BATTLESPACE, “CTAS offers a flexible open architecture that meets the NATO Staff Requirement. Imagery is datalinlked to a common ground station for processing from a number of platforms, be they UAVs, ASTOR, Horizon or ground based systems and fed these into the required system be it offensive or defensive. AGS is also required for peacekeeping operations such as border patrols and drug smuggling countermeasures. For Command and Control purposes NATO already ahs the considerable asset of the AWACS fleet which it is currently upgrading at considerable cost.”
Raytheon is offering two solutions for CTAS a manned fleet of 8 GX aircraft with TCAR and 49 Ground Stations in various configurations or 5 GX aircraft with 7 UAVs with the same number of ground stations. “The Raytheon package provides NATO with a flexible cost-effective alternative for AGS. The CTAS solution has been de-risked from the considerable investment in ASTOR and complements the ASTOR system. In addition CTAS requires fewer operators in the air and the range, endurance and altitude of the GX gives NATO a great