By Ann Roosevelt

Raytheon [RTN] is ready to play a “significant” role as missile defense moves forward, particularly with the four-phased incremental approach for Europe announced last fall, officials said.

Raytheon is a major player in providing radars, sensors, command and control, interceptors and kill vehicles for the ballistic missile defense system the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is developing.

Company strategy includes a structural change at Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) announced yesterday, creating a new Air and Missile Defense Systems product line, led by vice president Frank Wyatt.

“It will provide more focus for both missile defense missions and better focus on our MDA customer and our evolving international customer base as well,” Edward Miyashiro, a Raytheon vice president and deputy general manger of Raytheon Missile Systems, said at a briefing.

The new unit will include programs such as the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), the exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) and the developing Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE).

Missile defense work comprises 20 percent of RMS business.

The fiscal year 2011 president’s budget request for MDA is $8.4 billion, about a half billion increase over FY ’10.

As announced by the president in September, missile defense is shifting focus from ground-based defense against ICBMs to defending against short- and medium-range missiles, which MDA has said comprises about 99 percent of the ballistic missile threat.

Additionally, MDA is beginning the Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA), a four-phased effort to field a ballistic missile defense capability in Europe against the existing short-and medium-range ballistic missile threat.

International customers have long been a part of the company’s missile defense work. For example, the Patriot program has 11 global partners, and most recently Taiwan requested the PAC-3 system, said Karen Kalil-Brown, vice president of National & Theater Security Programs for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS).

“We’ve been modernizing Patriot for the past 20 years,” she said. The global partnership helps set up for the PAA because “we really want to work with our allies and NATO on that.”

Raytheon radars support missile defense, from the Army-Navy AN/TPY-2, which is part of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, cues Ground-based Interceptors (GBI) or Navy Aegis, to the Sea-Based X-band radar and the AN/FPS-132 upgraded early warning radars that provides space situational awareness.

Battle management work includes the NATO air command and control system, THAAD fire control center, and DDG-1000. The company also developed the Japanese Air Defense Ground Engagement (JADGE) system.

Missile Defense interceptor work includes, among others, the GBI, SM-3 in all its varieties, and the Stunner being developed with Israel.

Sensors integrated into BMDS include work on the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS).

“There’s a lot of talk these days about airborne IR-type sensor suites on both Global Hawk and Predator,” Miyashiro said. MDA is interested in this area and how it might apply to BMDS.

Raytheon takes mission assurance very seriously, he said. “It’s something Raytheon has put a lot of time and energy in ensuring we do the best that we can. We have a great track record in what is arguably one of the most difficult missions there is.”

Raytheon’s SM-3 has been identified as an important component of the PAA.

In Phase One, Raytheon will supply the current SM-3 and the AN/TPY-2 radar part of the sea-based missile defense capability.

Phase Two, expected to be fielded in 2015, will see the sea-based capability move to land. This iteration will use SM-3 Block IB.

Phase Three in 2018 will introduce the SM-3 Block IIA missile in cooperative development with Japan. It will be deployed on land and at sea for missile defense.

Phase Four, fielding around 2020, will likely field a higher performance interceptor–Block IIB, and introduce the ability to engage ICBMs for defending the United States.

“We believe we will be well positioned to play a significant role in helping to define the architectures as they go forward, to really be able to maximize the capability of these systems,” Miyashiro said. This includes working with international allies and industrial partners to satisfy their ballistic missile defense needs.

The PAA is cost effective because it leverages much existing investment, he said. “I think what the administration and [MDA]…are wanting to parlay those investments into a flexible capability that they can deploy quickly and be able to configure in a way to meet the needs that they have for specific locations or for specific application or a specific threat. Those are the kinds of things that we feel Raytheon plays significantly in.”