Close-Air-Support Project Advances

Originally designed for integration on the A-10, the electronics suite that Raytheon is maturing for DARPA to improve close-air-support coordination is now meant to be platform- and sensor-agnostic and compatible with multiple aircraft, announced the company on Monday. The Raytheon-led industry team developing this suite is now in the midst of phase 2 of DARPA’s Persistent Close Air Support program, working toward a critical design review, states the company’s Sept. 9 release. PCAS aims to improve coordination among joint terminal attack controllers, airborne sensors, and weapons, making it possible for ground troops to receive close air support sooner. “Every minute on the ground counts for warfighters waiting for close air support,” said Tom Bussing, Raytheon’s vice president of advanced missile systems. “PCAS could reduce the critical minutes it takes to get it to them,” he said. There is an option for PCAS phase 3, 18 months of work that would culminate in a series of flight tests and live-fire demonstrations, according to the company.