THE MINISTRY of Defence is to award Raytheon Systems a £100m contract to deliver sophisticated new technology to enable the armed forces to distinguish between friend and foe.
Raytheon said the MoD’s decision to name it as preferred supplier for the Successor Identification Friend or Foe (SIFF) programme will create or secure 900 UK jobs.
Subject to satisfactory negotiations, the hub of the new contract will be Raytheon’s site at Harlow, Essex, in which the company has invested £10m to create an IFF centre of excellence.
The project will update the identification capabilities of existing equipment and ensure compatibility with NATO allies. It will also include extra features compatible with civil air traffic control systems, to reduce the potential for mid-air collisions.
SIFF will be used by all three services and fitted to more than 1,000 pieces of equipment across some 40 types, including warships, submarines, helicopters, missiles, fighters and transport aircraft.
As holder of the main contract, Raytheon will be responsible for installing systems in around 25 equipment types. It was selected as preferred supplier in competition with BAE Systems of Portsmouth.
Separate contracts worth a total of around £170m will be placed with other suppliers, including BAE Systems, Marshall Aerospace and GKN Westland Helicopters. The MoD said the variety of suppliers reflected the complexity of the overall project.
The installation programme for armed forces equipment will start in late 2001 and is due to be completed by 2009.
To achieve early cost savings, the RAF’s Tornado F3 fighter is already being fitted with the system as part of its upgrade programme.
Copyright: Centaur Communications Ltd. and licensors