Saudi national guard chooses air traffic control system from Exelis for Khashm al-An Airfield

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass., 11 June 2014. Leaders of the Saudi Arabian National Guard at Khashm al-An Airfield, Saudi Arabia, needed an aircraft ground control approach system for air traffic control operations for Saudi Arabian National Guard aviation. They found their solution from the Exelis Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems segment in Van Nuys, Calif.

Officials of the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., announced a $9.6 million sole-source contract to Exelis on Tuesday to provide the company's Ground Control Approach System (GCA) for the Saudi national guard.

The air traffic control system is for a new program in support of a foreign military sales case for the Saudi Arabian National Guard, and will be installed at the Khashm al-An Airfield near the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.

The Khashm al-An Airfield has been under construction since 2011, and will be the base for Saudi heavy attack helicopters, light attack and reconnaissance helicopters, and utility helicopters, as well as for fixed-wing aircraft. The airfield has a 2,000-meter paved runway.

Related: Brazil selects ITT to provide transportable precision approach radar system

The Exelis GCA/PAR-2000 is a compact airport surveillance radar and precision approach radar for target detection in the airspace around an airport or air base. Simultaneous airport surveillance radar and precision-approach radar operations from the single sensor provide display of both types of radar data, Exelis officials say.

The system has multimode digital color displays and communications support for controller operations. The airport surveillance radar covers 30 nautical miles at altitudes up to 8,000 feet. The precision-approach radar coverage is up to 20 nautical miles with azimuth coverage of 30 degrees and elevation coverage of 8 degrees.

The GCA/PAR-2000 includes two or more universal displays that controllers can assign individually to the airport surveillance radar or precision-approach radar mode. The precision-approach radar display provides the 3-D landing situation in a digital azimuth and elevation format. This display adds a bullseye for a pilot’s view of the approach.

Related: Turkish Navy selects ITT radar approach control system

The GCA/PAR-2000 has air-cooled gallium arsenide transmit and receive modules in two active apertures for the azimuth and elevation antennas, as well as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) processors and power supplies. Redundancies provide fail-soft protection, built-in test, options to monitor system functions remotely via telephone lines.

On this contract Exelis will do the work in Saudi Arabia, and should be finished by 2024. For more information contact Exelis Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems online at, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at, or the Saudi Arabian National Guard at

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