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Raytheon developing three-dimensional expeditionary long-range radar (3DELRR) that can play critical role in networked integrated Air and Missile defence systems (IAMD)

Militaries around the world are increasingly facing formidable strategic and threat environment in terms of complexity, lethality, range, sophistication and number of threats. To counter these threats, the militaries around the world are developing networked integrated Air and Missile defence systems (IAMD). IAMD entails both the defence against conventional air threats, such as aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and balloons (air defence), as well as the defence against ballistic missiles and cruise missiles (missile defence).

 

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems has secured a contract to develop a three-dimensional expeditionary long-range radar (3DELRR) system for the US Air Force (USAF). Valued at around $52m, the fixed-price-incentive-firm engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract requires the company to provide EMD of three 3DELRR production representative units.

 

The agreement has been awarded through a competitive acquisition process, Raytheon stated. The company has developed 3DELRR as part of the US Department of Defense’s Design Exportability Features (DEF) programme to outpace the growing dangers of the modern battlefield.

 

The C-band gallium nitride (GaN) based radar enables troops to detect, identify and track a wide variety of targets including drones, missiles and aircraft very accurately at great distances. C-band is also a relatively uncongested portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, therefore providing additional operational flexibility to the troops.

 

The concurrent design of the radar system enables more cost-effective and timely fielding of systems for US forces, allies and security partners, according to a statement by Raytheon. The 3DELRR is claimed to be interoperable with coalition systems and capable of meeting the requirements of many foreign militaries. Work will be carried out in Andover, Massachusetts, US, with plans to complete by 30 November 2020.

 

The vision for 2020 Joint Integrated Air and missile Defense (IAMD) is one where all capabilities-defensive, passive, offensive, kinetic, non-kinetic (e.g. cyber warfare, directed energy, and electronic Attack) – are melded into a comprehensive Joint and combined force capable of preventing an adversary from effectively employing any of its offensive air and missile weapons.

Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR)

On 06 October 2014, the U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon a contract for engineering and manufacturing development of a new expeditionary radar that will detect, identify and track drones, missiles and aircraft. The $19.5 million fixed-price incentive firm contract covers the engineering, manufacturing and development of three three-dimensional expeditionary long-range radar (3DELRR ) systems. With all options included, the contract was estimated estimated at $71.8 million and includes the procurement of an additional three radar systems, for a total of six radar systems and product support.

 

Under the first agreement, there are priced options for defense exportability features designs, an 18-month low-rate initial production (LRIP) and three one-year options for interim contractor support. During the EMD phase, Raytheon will design and manufacture a total of three radars that will undergo contractor and government developmental testing and government operational testing. Three more radars will be built under the LRIP option, for a total of six, to achieve initial operational capability in 2020. A follow-on, full-rate production contract will deliver the remaining 29 systems.

 

Raytheon’s 3DELRR system is a gallium nitride (GaN)-based radar that operates in the C-band of the radio frequency spectrum. By using GaN, Raytheon was able to affordably increase the radar’s range, sensitivity and search capabilities. C-band also offers the military increased flexibility because that portion of the spectrum is relatively uncongested.

 

Components of the new radar will include an antenna array, signal and data processors, rotating assembly, identification friend or foe system and various other subsystems. Radar capabilities will include, but are not limited to, improved detection performance for newer targets, stronger clutter rejection, electronic protection, anti-radiation missile countermeasures and an open systems architecture design.

 

The 3DELRR radar is one of the first programs under the DoD’s Better Buying Power initiative to be designed for exportability, enabling U.S. forces, allies and security partners to benefit from the system. The system will serve as the US Air Force’s primary long-range, ground-based sensor for detecting, identifying, tracking and reporting aerial targets — replacing the legacy TPS-75 system.

 

The Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) is required to replace the AN/TPS-75 radar as the principal USAF long-range, ground-based sensor for detecting, identifying, tracking, and reporting aircraft and missiles in support of the Joint Forces Air Component Commander through the Ground Theater Air Control System. It is possible that the USMC will align their AN/TPS-59 product improvement/upgrade initiative with this effort. The primary mission of the 3DELRR will be to provide long-range surveillance, control of aircraft, and theater ballistic missile detection. The 3DELRR will provide air controllers with a precise, real-time air picture of sufficient quality to conduct close control of individual aircraft under a wide range of environmental and operational conditions.

 

In the case of theater missile defense operations, the new radar will have the capability to detect, track, and disseminate target information to respective command and control nodes such as the USAF Control and Reporting Center to disseminate for warning and engagement. Similarly, the joint targeting process will benefit from trajectory information provided by the 3DELRR, which will include launch and impact location. The 3DELRR will correct current radar system shortfalls by providing the capability to detect and report highly maneuverable, small radar cross section targets as well as classify and determine the type of a non-cooperative aircraft. It will also mitigate most of the sustainability and maintainability concerns which plague the current system.

 

This new radar will give the GTACS real-time display of all air activity and be rugged enough to support a wide range of deployed operations in all types of weather and terrain conditions. It will also provide sufficient advanced warning and target information to allow for threat evaluation and responsive action.

 

The 3DELRR will provide air controllers with a precise, real-time air picture of sufficient quality to conduct close control of individual aircraft under a wide range of environmental and operational conditions. In the case of theater missile defense operations, the new radar will have the capability to detect, track, and disseminate target information to respective command and control nodes such as the USAF Control and Reporting Center to disseminate for warning and engagement. Similarly, the joint targeting process will benefit from trajectory information provided by the 3DELRR, which will include launch and impact location.

 

The 3DELRR will correct current radar system shortfalls by providing the capability to detect and report highly maneuverable, small radar cross section targets as well as classify and determine the type of a non-cooperative aircraft. It will also optimize system sustainability and maintainability.

 

 

References and resources also include:

http://www.airforce-technology.com/news/newsraytheon-wins-contract-to-develop-3delrr-for-usaf-5813631

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/systems/3delrr.htm

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