The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon a $50.6 million engineering and manufacturing development contract to build mobile ATC systems capable of providing approach control guidance to military and other aircraft operating within a terminal airspace area. Raytheon will supply 19 mobile systems under the service’s deployable radar approach control (D-Rapcon) program; the overall contract value is approximately $400 million.
Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System
Raytheon’s funding of the deployment of satellite-based surveillance at the largest terminal ATC facilities in the U.S. is a good example of the type of public/private partnership needed to advance the country’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), according to the U.S. group.
Although the FAA has finally commissioned its first standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), the agency has drastically reduced the number of systems it plans to install at the nation’s airports. And that has caused some people to question the FAA’s commitment to ATC modernization.
Even though the FAA’s new standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) has begun a nationwide “road show” in a 28-ft-long van, the Transportation Department’s inspector general has warned Congress that deploying Stars within the current estimated cost and schedule “remains at risk.”
Raytheon said it achieved initial operating capability (IOC) for a second limited-production version of its new standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) at the Tracon facility serving Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks, Conn.
In a report prepared for several members of Congress, the General Accounting Office (GAO) said the FAA’s standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) “bears little resemblance to the program envisioned in 1996.”
Not long ago, Raytheon Co. had to defend its standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) against criticism by the DOT inspector general and the union that represents FAA employees who maintain ATC equipment (AIN, July, page 103).
The FAA and the Transportation Department’s inspector general are at loggerheads over whether the new Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (Stars) is ready to handle live traffic.
In a September 9 report to the FAA Administrator, the DOT’s inspector general called upon the agency “to reevaluate the costs of Stars [the standard terminal automation and replacement system] and consider other alternatives.”