Raytheon Hopes to Put U.S. Missiles on India’s New Fighter

by: Matthew Potter
November 18, 2011

Category: BAE Systems, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Countries, D'Assault, Events, India, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, production program, Proposal, Raytheon | RSS 2.0

As the contest to choose India’s newest fighter begins its final stages with a decision expected sometime before the New Year the discussion of ancillary contracts has begun to heat up. The decision is now between two European contenders, France’s Dassault Rafael and the Eurofighter Typhoon, with the U.S begin shut out despite bids from Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA).

Even so there are now reports that the U.S. defense contractor, Raytheon (RTN), is working to make sure that whomever wins the contract for over 100 modern fighters they have the ability to equip it with their missiles.

Due to contraction in the U.S. defense industry Raytheon has become the primary manufacturer of air-to-air missiles as well as many different types of ground attack and strike systems. In this it competes with European companies like Mistral and BAE Systems (BAE:LSE).

Based on reports the company is hoping that India will choose the AIM-120 AMRAAM as a potential air-to-air system. The AMRAAM was developed over twenty years ago as a replacement for the AIM-7 Sparrow radar guided system. Raytheon also makes the AIM-9X infra-red guided system. The AIM-120 has been sold to a variety of customers and has been integrated onto non-U.S. aircraft.

The Massachusetts based company also makes different guided bombs and missiles that India could consider. This includes the Paveway laser guided system or the Joint Stand Off Weapon (JSOW). The U.S. could also sell India the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) which adds a GPS guidance unit to different sized bombs. Raytheon also makes the Minature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) system which could be used by India to protect their aircraft.

Once the major award is announced for the multi-billion procurement of the aircraft then the various equipment and support contracts will follow. This does offer an opportunity for the U.S. defense contractors shut out from selling the primary aircraft to get some of the work associated with the system.

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