Raytheon Missile Systems, an operating unit of Raytheon Company (RTN), received a $93.9 million contract from the Naval Sea Systems Command, authorizing the start of production of Standard Missile-6 (SM-6).

The anti-air warfare missile completed tests in August 2009, validating the go-ahead to initiate production. Work on the contract – expected to be completed by March 2012 – will be executed in Tucson, AZ, Camden, AR, Boston, MA and elsewhere.

Raytheon Missile Systems’ contractual backlog of late has witnessed a slide from $9.9 billion after the end of the fiscal 2008 to $7.6 billion after the end of the first-half of fiscal 2009. This was mainly due to the cancellation of the $2.4 billion KEI program. The initiation of production of the SM-6 missile generated another steady stream of orders for the company.

Raytheon is the one of the largest aerospace and defense companies in the U.S. It boasts a well-diversified line of military products, including missiles, radars, sensors, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, communication and information systems, naval systems, air traffic control systems and technical services.

We continue to view Raytheon as one of the best-positioned among the large-cap defense firms due to its non-platform-centric focus, strong order bookings and order backlog, strong cash flow generation and focus on shareholder value. We maintain our market Outperform recommendation on the shares.
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