Raytheon's forward looking infrared technology marks 50 years of helping
military forces 'own the night'
Latest devices provide crisp, high-def images of the battlefield from land,
air, sea and space
WASHINGTON, May 20, 2013
WASHINGTON, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) marked
its five-decade heritage as the maker of Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR)
technology that has allowed U.S. and international defense forces to track
objects in total darkness, often from long distances. Over the span of 50
years, the devices have shrunk in size and weight -- from several hundred
pounds to less than two -- while providing ever clearer images and more
Their history began in 1963 when Texas Instruments' Defense Systems and
Electronicsbusiness (later acquired by Raytheon) created a capability to
essentially allow the warfighter to see at night. By the end of the 1960s, the
first product had been developed and deployed on board a C-47 fixed wing
aircraft, nicknamed "Puff the Magic Dragon."
From that first platform, and after five decades and hundreds of thousands of
devices sold, Raytheon is the world's top supplier of FLIR technologies that
support members of the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as
well as international allies. The devices are used on land, air and sea, and
in space, to provide intelligence, surveillance, navigation and targeting
"Before FLIR, the military's ability to go out and conduct operations in total
darkness was significantly limited. Our forces couldn't see beyond the naked
eye," said Jerry Powlen, vice president of Intelligence, Surveillance and
Reconnaissance Systems in Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems business.
"What started as a concept in the early 1960s has become a valuable asset to
the warfighter in nearly every major U.S. conflict."
During the Gulf conflicts, FLIR gave U.S. ground forces an advantage on the
battlefield, allowing troops to "own the night," and not only spot the enemy
but also recognize friendly forces. The company has consistently evolved the
technology. The next generation will provide a common high-definition view
across the battlefield, and high definition resolution and magnification at
much greater stand-off distances. This enhancement will help increase
warfighter survivability and effectiveness, enabling our servicemen and women
to identify and determine threats faster and with more precision.
Raytheon's FLIR technology is deployed across multiple platforms -- from
satellites, fixed-wing aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, helicopters, tanks
and military vehicles to hand-held thermal weapon sights and missile systems.
Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees
worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense,
security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation
spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission
systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects;
and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a
broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham,
Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on
SOURCE Raytheon Company
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