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State Department Approves Raytheon to Upgrade Phalanx CIWS

Phalanx CIWS, nicknamed ‘R2-D2,’ weapon system, is an autonomous anti-missile defense mounted on ships.

The U.S. State Department has approved a $75 million deal for Raytheon to upgrade and look after Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems operated by Britain’s Royal Navy.

Congress was notified Wednesday of the deal, for 50 Block IB Baseline 2 Upgrade Kits from the MK 15 Phalanx CIWS, in accordance with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The kits will be employed for close-in ship self-defense against air and surface threats onboard the UK’s naval combatants and auxiliaries, in line with the announcement.

The self-contained system includes search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement and kill assessment. Block 1B adds a forward-looking infrared sensor that can be used against helicopters and high-speed surface craft at sea as the land-based version helps identify and confirm incoming dangers, based on Raytheon.

Because with their distinctive barrel-shaped radome as well as their automated operation, Phalanx CIWS units are occasionally nicknamed “R2-D2” as soon as the famous droid character through the Star Wars films.

Raytheon Missile Systems, of Tucson, Ariz., could be the prime contractor. Its work would come with program and technical reviews, plus training and maintenance support in-country as required.

“This proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives in the United States by increasing the security of the NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important partner on critical foreign policy and defense issues,” the announcement reads.

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