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“Aussie Thunder” Self Propelled Howitzer on time and on target

CANBERRA – 15 September 2008: Following on quickly from successful armour protection and C2 integration tests, Raytheon Australia today announced better than expected performance from the AS-9 “Aussie Thunder” self-propelled howitzer’s (SPH) Aselsan weapon management system— particularly when firing demanding Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) fire missions.

The AS-9 is the joint Raytheon Australia / Samsung Techwin solution for the Australian Army’s LAND 17 Artillery Replacement Program.

“We were more than confident in our ability to meet the Commonwealth’s stated MRSI requirement, but it now looks as though we can comfortably exceed it,” said Raytheon Australia’s Managing Director, Ron Fisher. “The requirement is for a 5 to 7 round MRSI across a 10 second span, and our team at Aselsan advises 7 rounds and possibly more are achievable.

“That’s good news for the Commonwealth, because it promises very high levels of performance regardless of which charge system is ultimately selected,” said Fisher. “It also shows once again that the Aselsan weapon management system is a highly capable system which is well matched to the AS-9.”

Raytheon recently announced successful integration testing of Raytheon’s proven Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) Battle Management System – Fires (BMS-F) and the onboard Aselsan Weapon Management System. Those tests demonstrated the Aussie Thunder’s interoperability with Australia’s future C2 environment, and this new advice from Aselsan reinforces the growing recognition that the AS-9 offers a regionally based solution that in no way compromises system quality.

“To be frank, we’ve had our share of challenges in getting our regional quality message across,” said Fisher. “We’ve had to overcome misconceptions about almost every aspect of the system, but the fact that AS-9 is a world-class SPH is slowly emerging.

“Our approach has always been straightforward — set the standard, test us against it, and we think you will be impressed.”

-End-

LAND 17 self-propelled howitzers (SPH) will bring ground commanders a land-based indirect firepower system able to fight and communicate in the digital battlespace. They will be linked to the broader Australian joint fires environment, providing precision terminal effects at long ranges and unprecedented situational awareness to minimise the risk to friendly forces and enable a fast and lethal response to authorised targets. Gun crews will be protected under armour and the platforms will be fully interoperable with Australia’s likely coalition partners.

With facilities located across the country, Raytheon Australia is a highly capable prime contractor with an engineering and technical workforce of 1300 backed by world-class management and quality systems. This local presence is bolstered by strong relationships with small and medium sized enterprises and access to the global resources of Raytheon Company.

Raytheon Company, with 2007 sales of $21.3 billion, is a technology leader specialising in defence, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 86 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. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 72,000 people worldwide.