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Raytheon invests in Texas electro-optics location

23 Aug 2019

New 200,000 square-foot factory at site in McKinney will create 500 jobs.

US defense contractor Raytheon says it will create 500 new high-tech jobs, with a new factory at its Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) site in McKinney, Texas, that is scheduled for completion by the end of next year.

Although Raytheon has not specified exactly what the new factory will produce, the McKinney business unit specializes in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, including electro-optics manufacturing and the production of high-energy laser systems.

Examples of recent US Department of Defense contracts won by the firm’s SAS division include a $24 million agreement to build two prototype high-energy laser weapon systems for shooting down enemy drones.

That development will be carried out in collaboration with The Air Force Research Laboratory, although the work is scheduled for completion before Raytheon’s new McKinney factory is completed.

Another contract involves the development of a 100 kW-class laser for the US Army, under its High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration program.

F-35 imaging system
Raytheon also produces multi-spectral targeting and night vision systems at the Texas site, and in recent months has signed a series of manufacturing agreements with the US military.

In addition, last year Raytheon’s SAS division won a deal to develop and deliver the next-generation Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (EODAS) for new F-35 fighter jets.

The EODAS system collects and sends high-resolution, real-time imagery to the pilot's helmet from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft, allowing pilots to see the environment around them both day and night. Deliveries under the F-35 contract are expected to begin in 2023.

SAS division president Roy Azevedo said in a company release announcing the new factory: “This is an investment in the talented McKinney workforce. It shows we are serious about our presence in Texas and that we are here to stay.”

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