Raytheon has won a $255 million contract from US Navy to complete development of its next generation precision landing system.
The Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALs) uses GPS satellite navigation to provide more accurate landing guidance for manned and unmanned aircraft. It replaces radar and beacons used in older systems.
This contract, announced by the Department of Defense on September 21, includes options which would bring the value to $270 million.
Raytheon will complete development for an auto-land capability to be used by both manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as finalize the integration with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: the first aircraft to be equipped with JPALS technology. When operational in 2018, the US Navy and Marine Corps will use JPALS on the F-35C carrier variant, F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant, and the MQ-25A multi-mission unmanned vehicle.
Developed in partnership with the US Navy to provide pinpoint landing guidance on carriers in rough seas, JPALS is tailored to a wide range of environments including contingency operations requiring rapid deployment, or land-based airfields with curved, segmented and specialized approaches. It can also integrate and modernize landing systems on legacy aircraft for joint interoperability.
Further, JPALS improves navigational alignment prior to approach, allowing aircraft to land on any aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship, day or night, even in adverse weather conditions. As the only military ground-based augmentation system in the world, the system features anti-jam protection to ensure mission continuity throughout a range of threat environments.