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Alabama companies help Raytheon win military contract potentially worth $5B

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Four Alabama technology companies, including two led by women, have helped Raytheon win one of the biggest defense contract competitions this year that analysts say could ultimately be worth $5 billion.

The Pentagon today awarded Raytheon a contract initially valued at $384 million to produce six production test units of its Lower Tier Air and Defense Sensor (LTAMDS). The new radar, which can see incoming threats across a full 360 degrees, is designed to protect the Patriot missile batteries that are key American battlefield defense assets.

Raytheon says 17 allied countries have already bought its current generation of radar defense for the Patriot. They are likely to get Pentagon go-ahead to buy the new radar, as well, which account for analysts’ estimate of the contract’s overall value.

Raytheon cited four Huntsville companies – Cummings Aerospace, IERUS Technologies, Kord Technologies and nLogic – as members of its team of six suppliers for the new radar. The team’s contribution to Raytheon’s own skills and experience defeated competitors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for the contract.

The Huntsville contribution underscored the city’s growing reach in the defense industry and the women-led companies that have helped create that reach. An article about Huntsville in a recent Raytheon publication was headlined, “You can call it Radar City.” “Known for rockets, Huntsville helps make advanced radars,” the article subhead said.

Allen Young is CEO of Kord Technologies, and Sheila Cummings is CEO of Cummings Aerospace. Cummings, Allen and the CEOs of IERUS and nLogic co-wrote an AL.com article in August about the impact of small business on Huntsville’s growth. Winning this contract would mean “a variety of Huntsville-based professionals … hired across both the public and private sectors, potentially supporting hundreds of local jobs,” the CEOs said.

On a briefing call with reporters today, Raytheon spokesman Bob Kelley said the new radar will protect American military assets for 30 or 40 years “at least.” “There are no blind spots with this radar” Kelley said, promising it will deliver “full 360 degree coverage” to troops on the battlefield.

Kelley said Raytheon is using advanced manufacturing technology to build the new radar units including robot assembly and delivery of parts to the production line by robotic vehicles. He called that technology “a key enabler” that will allow Raytheon to be “a leader across the defense industry” in the future.



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