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Letterkenny depot signs deal to make missile cables

October 15, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Letterkenny Army Depot has been working on Patriot surface-to-air missiles for years, but recently entered into a partnership with systems manufacturer Raytheon that depot officials expect will grow into something much larger.

The partnership agreement is a first between the depot and Raytheon Integrated Systems, said Mark Sheffield, the depot's chief of staff. In this first project, the depot will build cables that supply power, data and communications to components of three Patriot Battalions.

The cables will be installed on Configuration 3 upgrade kits for the missile system, according to a depot press release.

As with any partnership, Sheffield said the company and depot will be learning each other's methods, from quality control and manufacturing techniques to safety programs and billing procedures. Depot spokeswoman Kim Russell said the partnership brings together the depot's expertise in remanufacturing with Raytheon's design, engineering and manufacturing talents.

The project should take about 6,000 man hours and six months to complete.

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"We hope to grow this into a much larger relationship," Sheffield said. The depot recently hosted a Raytheon strategic working group meeting, Depot Commander Col. Steven Shapiro has visited a Raytheon facility and higher level meetings are scheduled, he said.

The Patriot battalion consists of six major truck- or trailer-mounted components - six radars, six engagement control centers, two information control centrals, approximately 40 launchers, four communication relay groups and 12 antenna mass groups.

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