The US Navy has awarded a $44.3m contract to Raytheon to provide a electro-optical sensor suite for naval helicopters.

Under the contract, the company will provide 62 of its AN/AAS-52 multispectral targeting system (MTS) airborne sensor suites with infrared capability, laser designators, illuminator lasers and visible light sensors for the navy’s UH-60R and UH-60S helicopters.

The multiuse electro-optical infrared and laser detecting-ranging-tracking system will be used for tracking, rangefinding, target acquisition, laser designation and long-range surveillance for the Hellfire missile and for all tri-service and Nato laser-guided munitions.

The system can be upgraded with multiple wavelength sensors, TV cameras (near-IR and colour), illuminators, eyesafe rangefinders, spot trackers and other avionics through add-in circuitry.

The contract, awarded by the Naval Surface Warfare Centre in Crane Indiana, is expected to be complete by November 2011.