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News & Press: Colorado Technology Industry

Raytheon lands $887 million Air Force contract - Software Engineers To Be Hired

Friday, February 26, 2010   (0 Comments)
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(From The Denver Post)
Raytheon Co. has been awarded a U.S. Air Force GPS-related contract worth about $886.5 million — a contract officials say will mean more than 300 new high-paying jobs in Colorado.

The six-year contract, announced Thursday, is to modernize ground- control support for the nation's current and future Global Positioning System satellites.

The contract for the Next Generation GPS Control Segment, or OCX, has options for support, sustainment and studies for a total potential award of $1.5 billion.
"This is a big deal for this campus, a big deal for this company and a very big deal for Colorado," said Bob Canty, Raytheon's vice president and program manager of the GPS Advanced Control Segment.
Canty said Raytheon's GPS team has been together for about five years, "and we will be expanding that team next week."   Included in the contract are development and installation of hardware and software at GPS control stations at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California; monitor stations at remote sites; and contractor-support options for five years.
For Raytheon, the contract means adding about 100 new employees this year to its 2,200-employee Aurora campus, where work focuses primarily on software development. Another 200 workers will be phased in next year.
Boeing Co., which is on Raytheon's team that has been pursuing the contract, also could add 50 to 60 jobs at its Aurora facility.
Teams led by Raytheon and Northrop Grumman have been competing for the contract, which involves GPS command and control of satellites and mission support.
Although Northrop Grumman also has operations in the state, the win by Raytheon means more jobs will come to Colorado than would have under Northrop Grumman's plan.
Every state is looking to land these types of jobs, which require highly skilled workers, Canty said.
"These are very, very skilled software engineers," said Dick Hinson, senior vice president of the Aurora Economic Development Council. "We are just so thrilled. This is just fantastic — with an exclamation point."
Boeing has about 300 employees in Aurora, and Raytheon is the eastern suburb's largest employer.
Hinson said the award comes as the federal budget is being cut back.
"Everybody is so concerned about where defense budgets are going," Hinson said. "There are hardly any big projects, but this is the big fish out there. A contract like this comes along and gives an opportunity to not only keep jobs but to hire people."
Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., said he knew the contract was in play. "But my word," he said, "after seeing a little dip in aerospace employment, this is welcome, welcome news."
Clark credited the award on the clustering of all the major defense and aerospace contractors in Colorado. "They end up partnering when they are all in one place," he said.
Colorado has slipped to No. 3 in aerospace employment, losing the No. 2 spot to Texas last year. Nearly 50,000 people work in aerospace in Colorado, with about 20,000 employed by private firms and another 28,000 in the military.
GPS is a satellite-based system that provides precise location, navigation and timing services to military and civilian customers.
The information is used in aviation, agriculture, warfare, transportation, scientific research and disaster services.
Accurate timing provided by GPS is used in banking, such as ATMs; controlling power grids; cellphones; and even pinpointing where farmers plant seeds.
GPS has three parts: satellites; monitoring and control stations on earth; and receivers owned by users.
Satellites broadcast signals that are picked up by the receivers, with each receiver providing three-dimensional location (latitude, longitude and altitude) and time.
GPS receivers were popular gifts last holiday season, with consumers using them for driving, boating, walking and running.
Ann Schrader: 303-954-1967 or aschrader@denverpost.com

Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_14474407#ixzz0gguj4c9D


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