Persistent Close Air Support Program Enters Stage Three

DARPA has exercised an 18-month, $25.5 million option with Raytheon to enter phase three of the persistent close air support program, according to a Feb. 4 release. Originally designed for the A-10 Warthog, the PCAS software was expanded in 2013 to develop a platform and sensor agnostic electronics suite, allowing it to be easily integrated onto multiple platforms. PCAS is intended to improve coordination between joint terminal attack controllers, airborne sensor operators, and weapons, states the release. “Our ground troops deserve the quickest response possible when close air support is needed,” said Thomas Bussing, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Advanced Missile Systems product line. “Raytheon’s PCAS solution is designed to reduce the minutes it takes to deliver that critical support, and give warfighters the most effective protection possible.” Phase three will culminate in a series of flight tests and live-fire demonstrations.