TEWKSBURY, Mass., 13 Sept. 2012. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Air Force have selected Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) to modernize and add new capability to an Air Force early warning radar (EWR) system. The contract for this project is worth $125.3 million, the upgrade is funded jointly by the Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Air Force.
Early warning radar systems are used for long-range detection of targets, but lack the precise details that shorter range radars offer. EWRs typically can not give a target's exact location or direction of travel.
The upgraded EWR (UEWR), a high-powered radar, will provide early warning of missile launches and space surveillance. The UEWR also adds a new capability â providing targeting data that can be used to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles.
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The upgraded radar will continue to perform as part of the missile warning and space surveillance networks, and will be integrated into the MDA's ballistic missile defense system as part of the layered defense of the United States.
The EWR that Raytheon will upgrade is a large phased-array radar in Clear, Alaska. The upgrade will use the existing phased-array radar face and add enhanced electronics and software to improve performance and target detection. During the upgrade work, the currently deployed EWRs will continue operation. Work will also include a signal and data processor rehost for the existing UEWR at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The contract includes options for an EWR upgrade at Cape Cod Air Force Station, Mass.
Work on the upgrade is expected to be completed in 2017.