The US Army has awarded a contract to Raytheon to provide mission support and system sustainment for the army’s rapid aerostat initial deployment (RAID) systems.

RAID consists of an infrared sensor system that is set up on a stationary platform, which enables the warfighter to respond quickly to threatening situations.

The system will provide protection to US and coalition forces deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Raytheon’s national and theatre security programmes vice-president Karen Kalil-Brown said the additional mission and sustainment support would improve RAID’s capability as a multifunctional battlefield system, providing enhanced situational awareness to the warfighter.

The system was intended to meet the military’s increasing need for persistent surveillance in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Work under the $23m contract extension, will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Huntsville, US.