$85.2M more for ITAS Targeting Systems, TOW Missiles
Raytheon Co. in McKinney, TX received, a $15.4 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for the Improved Target Acquisition System. ITAS was originally designed to provide an advanced fire control system for the TOW anti-armor missile, significantly increasing target detection, acquisition, recognition and engagement ranges. It also offers upgraded hardware for a 30-year old system, some of whose parts are no longer produced.
ITAS uses a thermal imager based on a Standard Advanced Dewar Assembly (SADA II) focal plane array, eyesafe laser rangefinder, and a gunner-aided target tracker. This improves the target recognition range, performance and the hit probability. The advanced digital fire control computer provides missile tracking, target tracking, embedded training and even growth capability as demonstrated by the 2002 firing of a Javelin missile using this system.
The TOW ITAS can also be used as a reconnaissance aid. During one National Training Center (NTC) rotation, 82d Airborne Division soldiers could see movement beyond 10 kilometers, distinguish between tracked and wheeled vehicles at eight kilometers, and identify vehicle types and dismounts at five kilometers using their ITAS sights. The brigade combat team (BCT) commander used this capability to determine the disposition and intent of the opposing force. In thick vegetation, such as that at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), soldiers have also been able to acquire targets, and again determine the opposing force’s intent and set the tone of the battle to come. ITAS has been used to similar effect during Operation Iraqi Freedom in urban warfare.
According to an October 4, 2006 Raytheon release, planned product improvements will incorporate the Far Target Location capability, which automatically determines target location and shows the troop location to give complete situational awareness. Incorporation of a network radio would allow transmission of this information to networked systems on the battlefield.
Work on this contract will be performed in McKinney, TX and is expected to be complete by May 31, 2007. From 1999 through 2003, the Army procured 709 ITAS units. On April 21/05, Raytheon announced the resumption of system production under a $32.3 million contract from the U.S. Army’s Aviation and Missile Command. This order would appear to be another add-on, listing as a sole source contract initiated on March 2, 1999 by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL (DAAH01-99-C-0126).
In related news, Raytheon Co. in Tucson, AZ was recently awarded an additional $69.8 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for TOW 2A bunker buster missiles. Work will be performed in Tucson, AZ and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated on July 15, 2002 by the U.S. Army Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-04-C-0061).
Additional Readings & Sources
- Army Technology – TOW 2 Heavy Anti-Tank Missile, USA
- Raytheon Release (April 21/05) – Raytheon Resumes Production of TOW ITAS Precision Guidance Systems Under $32 Million Contract
- DID (Apr 15/05) – $52.7M for more TOW2A Missiles
- Raytheon Release (Dec 16/02) – Raytheon Improved Target Acquisition System fires Javelin missile
- Infrantry Magazine (Spring 2002) – M41 TOW improved target acquisition system – ITAS – Professional Forum