William Swanson. Credit: Space Foundation

WASHINGTON — William Swanson, Raytheon Co.’s longtime chairman of the board and former chief executive, will step down Sept. 30, the company announced July 28.

Swanson served as the defense company’s chief executive from March 2003 to March 2014. In January, Raytheon announced he would continue to serve as chairman through a leadership transition. Tom Kennedy is Raytheon’s new chief executive.

Raytheon recently won a large contract to build the Family of Advanced Beyond-Line-of-Sight Terminals for strategic communications via satellite, but lost to Lockheed Martin in the competition to build an advanced space surveillance system known as the Space Fence. The company is also leading a team trying to win a multibillion-dollar contract to support the nation’s two main launch ranges.

Raytheon is also a major missile defense contractor and provides sensors and software for U.S. government space programs.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.