Raytheon to upgrade and maintain missile-defense radar system designed to protect Taiwan from attack

Jan. 3, 2023
The Taiwan early-warning radar is a surplus U.S. Raytheon AN/FPS-115 PAVE PAWS radar sold to Taiwan in 2000 and activated in 2013.

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Missile defense experts at Raytheon Technologies Corp. will maintain and upgrade a long-range surveillance radar system in Taiwan, which has been in operation since early 2013 to help warn the island country of attacks from neighboring mainland China.

Officials of the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., have announced a $412.6 million contract to the Raytheon Missiles & Defense segment in Woburn, Mass., to provide logistics support, engineering services, technical updates, spare parts, and other support under the Taiwan Surveillance Radar Program.

Raytheon engineers will help maintain and upgrade the Taiwan Early Warning Radar Surveillance Radar system atop Le Shan Mountain, Taiwan. Raytheon will upgrade the Taiwan missile warning system to address obsolescence and related concerns.

The Taiwan early-warning radar is a surplus U.S. Raytheon AN/FPS-115 PAVE Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS) radar sold to Taiwan in 2000 and activated in 2013.

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Raytheon developed the AN/FPS-115 PAVE PAWS radar originally in the 1970s to detect and track incoming missile threats -- particularly submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Much of the 40-year-old missile-defense technology in this radar is obsolescent and needs upgrading.

The Taiwan early warning radar system to be upgraded provides more than six minutes of warning time of surprise enemy attacks, and can detect and monitor incoming threats at distances as far as 3,100 miles. The Taiwan system has been able to monitor North Korean ballistic missile tests.

The system can detect and track ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, conventional military aircraft, and stealth fighters. Its range gives Taiwan military authorities surveillance control of aerial activities in airspace from the Korean peninsula in the north to the South China Sea in the south.

Taiwan reportedly started negotiating a deal with the U.S. to buy an advanced surveillance radar system after China fired ballistic missiles in the Taiwan Strait in 1996.

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In 2012 Raytheon won a $289.5 million contract to provide sustainment support for the Taiwan early warning radar system shortly after the radar went online.

The U.S. military also oversees maintenance and upgrades for the nation's network of ballistic missile early warning radars, such as the Solid State Phased Array Radar Systems (SSPARS), PAVE PAWS, and the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS).

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

On this contract to maintain and upgrade the Taiwan early warning radar system, Raytheon will do the work in Taiwan, and should be finished by December 2027. For more information contact Raytheon Missiles 7 Defense online at www.rtx.com/who-we-are/our-businesses#rmd, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.aflcmc.af.mil, or the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense at www.mnd.gov.tw/English/default.aspx.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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