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Raytheon AESA for F-15E Enters LRIP

While the United States continues development and testing of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) it must continue to utilize its older fighter and attack aircraft. The F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 all originally entered service in the late Seventies and Eighties but have continued to be upgraded with new electronics, systems and weapons. As part of this all 3 will eventually be fitted with new Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar systems to replace the mechanically scanned systems currently used. The AESA offer better reliability and ease of maintenance over the older systems.

Raytheon (RTN) is already producing a new radar for the F/A-18 used by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and several allied nations. Over 300 have been delivered for retrofit on aircraft.

Raytheon is also providing the new radars for the F-15C and F-15E aircraft used by the Air Force and Air National Guard (ANG). The F-15C variants have begun receiving them and a contract was recently awarded for the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the one for the F-15E strike version. Initially 6 systems will be delivered as part of this contract.

Even with the threat of budget reductions in the near future these programs will continue. They will most likely see cuts in quantities and slower development but they are necessary to provide the capabilities needed by these aircraft.

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