Parsons Corporation has been awarded a $50.6 million, six-year contract by the U.S. Air Force for the manufacturing, integration and sustainment of 13 Recovery of Airbase Denied by Ordnance (RADBO) systems.
RADBO employs the Parsons developed ZEUS directed energy weapon (DEW) system to destroy unexploded ordinance (UXO) with extreme accuracy in previously denied areas and improves the safety of deployed warfighters. The RABDO program is the first Department of Defense (DoD) ground-based laser system placed into production.
“This is Parsons innovation: delivering a game changing warfighting product,” said Hector Cuevas, Parsons executive vice president of missile defense and C5ISR. “We’re proud to partner with the Air Force in deploying this critical force protection and mission enabling technology that will greatly increase safe and effective explosive ordnance disposal operations.”
The RADBO system was developed as a solution to meet an Air Force Central Command (AFCENT) requirement for a stand-off unexploded ordnance neutralization and removal capability.
RADBO is comprised of three main components: the Cougar mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle, a three-kilowatt ZEUS laser, and an interrogation arm assembly. The ZEUS laser can hit targets more than 300 meters away from the vehicle and is powerful enough to detonate small submunitions from cluster bombs, land mines, general purposed (GP) bombs and thick-cased artillery rounds. Parsons is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the ZEUS laser.
Air Force explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel can operate the laser and robotic arm from the safety of the MRAP to rapidly clear multiple unexploded ordnance from airfields.
The RADBO platform is an improvement on the “one man, one bomb” technique of UXO removal, which requires three-person teams of EOD technicians to conduct operations in close proximity to anti-access and area denial UXO hazards on runways and airfield surfaces.