U.K. installs Raytheon radar for ASTOR

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., 27 June 2005. Raytheon Company has installed the first dual mode radar for the Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) system, a major milestone for this U.K. ground surveillance and reconnaissance program.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., 27 June 2005. Raytheon Company has installed the first dual mode radar for the Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) system, a major milestone for this U.K. ground surveillance and reconnaissance program.

The ASTOR Dual Mode Radar, a key element of the U.K. MoD's (Ministry of Defence) new, highly sophisticated, long range airborne surveillance system, will be carried on board a modified Bombardier Global Express aircraft designated by the MoD as SENTINEL R Mk 1. The active array ASTOR radar is capable of generating synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery of various resolutions along with advanced moving target indicator modes. The radar imagery and moving target data can be simultaneously exploited and displayed on the ASTOR workstations in both the air and ground segments.

"The Dual Mode Radar is the most advanced air-to-ground surveillance radar technology currently available," said Raytheon ASTOR program manager Justin Monger. "The terrific teamwork between the MoD, Raytheon employees in Britain and America, L-3 Com and all our teammates has helped us meet this important program milestone."

"We are looking forward with great enthusiasm to delivering ASTOR systems that support the war-fighting capabilities of the United Kingdom," said Tom Kennedy, vice president for Integrated Airborne Systems, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.

Bill Chrispin, the ASTOR integrated project team leader for the MoD, welcomed the delivery and another milestone to fielding this new capability: "The high-altitude, long-endurance SENTINEL platform, equipped with the Dual Mode Radar System, will give our nation's armed forces a unique battlefield surveillance capability and allow effective interface with current and future networks."

The first SENTINEL R Mk 1 aircraft has been used to complete all aerovalidation, ground environmental, non-radar mission equipment installation, and icing trial objectives, and now will be used to complete flight testing with the radar subsystem installed and operating. First flight is expected to take place around September 2005.

When it enters service, the MoD's ASTOR system will be the most advanced of its type in the world. The complete system will include five Bombardier Global Express aircraft, each equipped with dual-mode (SAR and Moving Target Indicator) radar and operator workstations where the mission management and imagery can be exploited and then transmitted to the various brigade and divisional/joint level ASTOR ground stations by datalink. The system operates in near real time to give battlefield commanders rapid access to highly accurate information about what is happening in their area of interest.

Raytheon Systems Limited (RSL), the U.K. based subsidiary of Raytheon Company, employs more than 1500 people. The company is a prime contractor and major supplier to the U.K. Ministry of Defence and is involved in numerous, high priority programs for the U.S. Department of Defense. RSL designs, develops and manufactures a range of high technology defense and commercial electronics.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) is the leading provider of sensor systems giving warfighters the most accurate and timely information available for the network-centric battlefield. With 2004 revenues of $4 billion and 13,000 employees, SAS is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., with additional facilities in Goleta, Calif.; Forest, Miss.; Dallas, McKinney and Plano, Texas; and several international locations.

Raytheon Company, with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide. For more information, see www.raytheon.com.

More in RF/Analog