Pelham: Raytheon Company’s newest integrated air and missile defense radar has been busy since its debut at the 2016 Winter AUSA tradeshow. The gallium nitride-powered Active Electronically Scanned Array proposed upgrade to the Patriot Air and Missile Defense has surpassed more than 1,000 hours of operation in just over a year, which is half the time of a typical testing program.
“We achieved this milestone so quickly because of our successful experience developing and maturing GaN for programs like the U.S. Navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar,” said Doug Burgess, director of AESA programs at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “We’re ready to take the next step and get this radar into the hands of our customers.”
During the course of the 1,000 hours, Raytheon’s GaN-based AESA prototype radar routinely demonstrated 360-degree capability by working together with a second GaN-based AESA antenna that was pointed in a different direction. As targets flew out of one array’s field of view and into another, the two arrays seamlessly passed information back and forth, tracking the target continuously. The main array also detected and tracked tactically maneuvering fighter jets and thousands of other aircraft.
“Raytheon’s GaN technology is backed by 19 years of research and $300 million in investment, while our competitors are either new to the market or primarily build GaN for commercial applications,” said Ralph Acaba vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “When national security is on the line you want highly reliable, proven technology that is certified by the U.S. Department of Defense for use in military radars.”
Raytheon’s GaN-based AESA radar will work with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System and other open architectures. It maintains compatibility with the current Patriot Engagement Control Station and full interoperability with NATO systems.
A number of current and expected future Patriot Air and Missile Defense System partner nations in Europe and Asia have expressed interest in acquiring GaN-based AESA. Poland submitted a Letter of Request for GaN-based AESA Patriot on March 31.
US Navy awards Raytheon $28 mn for Variable Depth Sonar
The U.S. Navy has selected Raytheon to provide the new Variable Depth Sonar for the Littoral Combat Ship class. The $27.9 million contract followed a study and product assessment phase during which Raytheon proved the solution’s features and capabilities met all of the Navy’s design and performance requirements. A mission-critical anti-submarine warfare asset, the VDS will be deployed from LCS to locate and track enemy submarines.
“We leveraged decades of sonar systems expertise and our proven ability to innovate to create this groundbreaking technology,” said Raytheon’s Paul Ferraro, vice president of Integrated Defense Systems’ Seapower Capability Systems business area. “Raytheon’s reliable, cost-effective variable depth sonar will allow the Navy to rapidly introduce this new anti-submarine capability to meet the LCS mission.”
This ship-deployed sonar system design, identical for both LCS variants, features reduced weight to minimize ship impact, increased maneuverability and it provides the opportunity for increased warfighting payloads. Ease of operation improves crew efficiency and operational effectiveness. These features were validated by the fleet sailors who operated the system at a full-scale demonstration at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in August 2016.
Raytheon’s VDS benefits from the agility and expertise of a dedicated team, including Curtiss Wright-Indal, Adaptive Methods, Inc., Purvis Systems and Harbor Branch.
Now under contract, Raytheon will advance its design to a full Pre-Production Test Article, expected to be complete in late 2018. The contract includes options for production which, if exercised, brings total contract value to more than $300 million.