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Washington (UPI) May 7, 2018 –

Raytheon has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy for common sensor payloads for the U.S. Army’s MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system.

The deal, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $28.5 million under the terms of a firm-fixed-price, definitive contract.

The contract award by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division enables Raytheon to provide 20 common sensor payloads, including, one turret and one electronics unit in each of the individual systems as well as data, according to a Defense Department contract announcement.

The common sensor payloads are electro-optical, infrared sensor systems design for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system.

The MQ-1C is an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform with strike capabilities. The unmanned aircraft system has been a major tool in U.S. counterterrorism strategy since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The electro-optical, infrared sensor systems will provide MQ-1C Grey Eagles with “enhanced visual imagery to augment existing electronic sensors,” for multiple operational requirements, the Defense Department said.

Work on the contract will occur in McKinney, Texas, and is expected to be complete by October 2019.

The total cumulative value of the contract will be obligated to Raytheon at time of award from Army fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement funds.

The obligated funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year, the Pentagon said.

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