7 April 2017
Raytheon awarded $10m MDA contract to upgrade X-band ballistic missile defense radar to GaN
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded Raytheon Company of Waltham, MA, USA a $10m contract modification to continue the development of hardware and software that will add gallium nitride (GaN) technology to the AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar.
GaN increases the radar’s range, search capabilities and enables the system to better discriminate between threats and non-threats. It also increases the system’s overall reliability while maintaining production and operational costs.
“AN/TPY-2 is already the world’s most capable land-based, X-band, ballistic missile defense radar,” says Raytheon’s Dave Gulla, VP of the Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) Mission Systems and Sensors business area. “Adding GaN technology modernizes the system so it can defeat all classes of ballistic missiles in extreme operational environments.”
Raytheon says that the AN/TPY-2 is on track to be the world’s first transportable, land-based ballistic missile defense radar to use GaN technology.
The AN/TPY-2 radar operates in two modes:
- In forward-based mode, the radar is positioned near hostile territory, and detects, tracks and discriminates ballistic missiles shortly after they are launched.
- In terminal mode, the radar detects, acquires, tracks and discriminates ballistic missiles as they descend to their target. The terminal-mode AN/TPY-2 is the fire control radar for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense ballistic missile defense system, by guiding the THAAD missile to intercept a threat.
Raytheon says that it has been developing GaN for 19 years and has invested more than $200m to get this latest technology into the hands of military members faster and at lower cost and risk. The firm has demonstrated the maturity of the technology, including exceeding the reliability requirement for insertion into the production of military systems.