Raytheon has signed a contract to support the US Navy's P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft system enhancement project.
Under the 27-month, $15.5m agreement, the company will deliver an application-based architecture (ABA) for the aircraft, in a bid to enable mission commanders to quickly field new or advanced capabilities using third-party software applications.
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems vice-president Jerry Powlen said: "The goal is to use readily available technology to quickly upgrade the P-8A's warfighting capability.
"This open systems architecture can easily be used for other domestic and international customers looking to affordably enhance their airborne platforms."
The new system also complies with the US Department of Defense's Better Buying Power Initiatives and the navy's move towards open system architecture.
The two prototype ABA systems will be built using expertise in airborne COTS computing, services-oriented architecture and infrastructure and software-based mission applications.
Work will be performed at the company's McKinney facility in Texas, US, and completed by March 2017.
The support team for the open system architecture includes Northrop Grumman Information Systems, L-3 Communications ComCept, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems and Rite Solutions.