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Raytheon’s Technical Flub Stifles US Navy, Air Force Missile Upgrades

© Photo : US Air Force / AMRAAM F-35
AMRAAM F-35 - Sputnik International
The Pentagon has cut funding for Raytheon’s air-to-air missiles after a chip processor error prevented them from getting needed software modifications.

"I need to see the program progress before I would procure more weapons," US Air Force Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch told Defense News in a report published Thursday. The Massachusetts-based defense firm is "committed to taking care of it, but I’m just not comfortable right now that I would want to put additional procurement [funds] into it and put more stress on what I’m already trying to do," Bunch said.

Israeli soldiers walk near an Israeli Irone Dome defence system (L), a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the MIM-104 Patriot (C), and an anti-ballistic missile the Arrow 3 (R) during Juniper Cobra's joint exercise press briefing at Hatzor Israeli Air Force Base in central Israel, on February 25, 2016. Juniper Cobra, is held every two years where Israel and the United States train their militaries together to prepare against possible ballistic missile attacks, as well as allowing the armies to learn to better work together. - Sputnik International
Raytheon Wins Engineering Contract to Support Israel Patriot Missile Batteries

A technical error with the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) caused USAF and the US Navy to reduce missile acquisition from Raytheon by hundred of projectiles, Defense News noted. The armed services have identified the Application Specific Integrated Circuit chip processor as the key limiting factor. ASIC is also a Raytheon program. 

The Air Force said there are no alternatives to ASIC for the missiles.

Capitol Hill lawmakers offered to channel more financing into the program in hopes of bringing a resolution. But the Pentagon found this strategy to be less than prudent. "We would love to buy more, sir," Bunch told the House Armed Services Committee in June, "but I need [Raytheon] to get the production right." 

“We’re in exactly the same place,” US Navy Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags added.

An F/A-18 Super Hornet deployed a Raytheon AMRAAM missile when it downed a Syrian Su-22 June.

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