Raytheon to upgrade radar signal processing for missile-defense system in Thule, Greenland

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., 3 Jan. 2017. Radar signal processing experts at the Raytheon Co. will upgrade a missile-defense radar system in Greenland in place to provide missile defense and early warning of enemy ballistic missile launches and potential threats in space.

Raytheon to upgrade radar signal processing for missile-defense system in Thule, Greenland
Raytheon to upgrade radar signal processing for missile-defense system in Thule, Greenland
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., 3 Jan. 2017.Radarsignal processing experts at the Raytheon Co. will upgrade a missile-defense radar system in Greenland in place to provide missile defense and early warning of enemy ballistic missile launches and potential threats in space.

Officials of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Huntsville, Ala., announced a $40.5 million order Friday to the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems segment in Woburn, Mass., to upgrade the Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS) installation at Thule Air Force Station, Greenland.

The SSPARS -- once referred to as the Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS) and the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) -- is a radar, computer, and communications system for missile warning and space surveillance.

SSPARS sites are located at five separate locations: Thule Air Force Station, Greenland; Beale Air Force Base, Calif.; Cape Cod, Air Force Station, Mass.; Clear Air Force Station, Alaska; and Royal Air Force Station Fylingdales, England.

Related: Raytheon to upgrade Taiwan missile-defense surveillance radar to mitigate obsolescence issues

These strategic radar systems in recent years have received significant upgrades to their data- and signal-processing subsystems. On this contract Raytheon will undertake a data processor and signal processor equipment suite modernization at the Thule SSPARS site.

Friday's $40.5 million contract modification to Raytheon increases the value of this contract from $253.7 to $294.2 million, MDA officials say. One year ago Raytheon won a $36 million MDA order to modernize data and signal processing at the SSPARS site at Royal Air Force Fylingdales, England.

The SSPARS is a ground-based radar system that provides U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb., with warning and attack-assessment information on all intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) launched throughout the world that might be headed for U.S. territory.

The system also helps warn USSTRATCOM and NATO authorities of submarine- and sea-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) attacks and provides data to help evaluate the severity of ballistic missile attacks.

Related: BAE Systems to upgrade, maintain, and operate long-range missile-defense radar system

A sister system -- the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS) is a large radar installation in North Dakota that provides ballistic missile warning and attack assessment, as well as space surveillance data to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and to USSTRATCOM and regional combatant commanders.

On this contract BAE Systems will do the work at Beale Air Force Base; Cape Cod Air Force Station; Clear Air Force Station; Thule Air Base; and Royal Air Force Fylingdales, and will be finished by August 2017.

For more information contact Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems online at www.raytheon.com, or the Missile Defense Agency at www.mda.mil.

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