Raytheon Wins $177 Million to Upgrade 11 U.S. Air-Traffic Sites

Raytheon Co., one of the Federal Aviation Administration’s largest contractors, was awarded $177 million to replace air-traffic control displays at 11 centers serving some of the busiest U.S. airports, the company said.

The air-traffic centers, where controllers guide planes within 50 miles of takeoffs and landings, include New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington, Raytheon said in a statement. The work is expected to be completed by 2015, Andy Zogg, a Raytheon vice president, said in an interview.

The contract for the Raytheon project, called the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or Stars, upgrades processors and displays in the centers to help controllers more precisely locate planes and spot storms. The Stars system serves as a platform for future FAA upgrades to a satellite-based system, Zogg said.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon won a $940 million contract in 1996 to upgrade equipment at 172 centers at or near airports with the Stars system. In 2004, when the program fell years behind schedule and cost estimates rose to more than $2 billion, the FAA scaled back the plan to 50 sites and said it would incrementally add other locations in future years.

Other centers that will get Stars as part of today’s announcement include St. Louis, Denver, Minneapolis, Sacramento, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, according to Raytheon’s statement. Work will begin with Dallas next year, and the first five centers will be completed by 2013, Zogg said.

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