- May 18, 2019
- Reaction score
The radar that Raytheon specifically designed for the Army uses next-generation gallium nitride technology and is 7 feet longer but 11 inches more narrow than the radar unit. But it no longer requires outrigger stabilizing legs. Rather, the system is held stable by jacks underneath, which means its takes up less space on the sides, according to Bob Kelley, Raytheon’s director of domestic integrated air and missile defense programs for business development and strategy.
No it does not need to rotate - that is the entire point of developing a staring sensor. Raytheon has disclosed that the rear panels are designed to offer more than 2x the search range of the current Patriot radar which would be plenty of rear sector performance given the LTAMDS mission. They are sized to perform the full spectrum of PATRIOT's mission. There will also be other sensors operating as part of the PATRIOT battalion and within the broader IAMD fold covering other vectors and airspace. I did reach out to a Raytheon team member to see if the radar can slew and whether that capability will be carried over from the legacy sensor into the fielded LTAMDS sensors. Haven't heard back but I would be highly surprised if the final variant of their sensor doesn't offer that capability in some shape or form. There is some indication that the ability to slew is built into the design and may show up in the final delivered product..If it rotated why would you need three arrays?
It was a conscious decision on Raytheon's part not to go with a rotating design which would have been much simpler, cheaper but would not have performed as well. Raytheon on a number of occasions have commented that they discarded a rotator as they deemed it to be inadequate to best meet the performance requirements the US Army had set for them. They chose to go with a full mission spectrum simultaneous 360-degree capability. Hence the substantial increase in size of the rear panels compared to to what they had planned on the PATRIOT AESA upgrade or what their competition appears to have proposed. I think the question that still needs to be answered is whether this sensor can be slewed. Hopefully that will be known soon.I`m almost surprised that they just didnt come up with a railroad locomotive style turntable setup that the existing radar trailer could just be parked on and physically rotated instead.
I thought it was obvious that this was a prototype and same would be the case with the 6 that are to be delivered to the US Army for fielding by late 2022 following which production decision would be made for follow on orders. There are graphics where the rear assembly is not bolted, hence why I dropped a query to them to clarify this point as they would have insight into what the final configuration is likely to be. They have a pretty good team on this radar and beat some of the top radar suppliers on the planet. I'm sure they know how trailers work. At the end of the day, the design represents something built to meet or exceed requirements so there is Army influence on this as well. If the Army wants the sensor to slew, like its predecessor, that's what they'll deliver.A work in progress.
The Air Force plans to cancel a contract with Raytheon to develop the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar due to "numerous technical and supplier challenges."
"The Air Force is changing its acquisition strategy for the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) program and will take actions to conclude its current engineering and manufacturing development contract with Raytheon," Air Force spokeswoman Patty Welsh told Inside Defense today.
The service originally chose Raytheon as the 3DELRR prime contract in 2014, but Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman -- both of whom made failing bids for the project -- protested the award. Then, when the Air Force opted to take corrective action to re-start the bidding process, Raytheon protested the service's decision. The compounding protests resulted in a nearly three-year program pause that culminated with a new contract to Raytheon in 2017.
The Air Force didn't expand on the nature of the technical challenges Raytheon experienced and didn't immediately provide details on when the contract will be officially terminated, but the Government Accountability Office raised concerns in a 2018 report that a "lack of technical readiness" was delaying the program and highlighted software development risks. The Air Force expected it would cost more than $1.3 billion to develop and produce 35 radar systems.
Raytheon said in a statement to Inside Defense it continues to work with the service to overcome the program's challenges.
"We are aware of the Air Force's position and share their concerns with the challenges facing the 3DELRR program," the company said. "We have been working closely with the Air Force to resolve these issues, and continue to support the U.S. Air Force with their efforts."
The service had previously expected the program to reach initial operational capability in 2023 and full operational capability in 2029. Under the new strategy, Welsh said, the service will use Middle Tier Acquisition authorities to reach IOC for the capability "no later than FY-24."
The program office, based out of Hanscom Air Force Base, MA, will host an industry day Feb. 4, and is asking radar developers to pitch production-ready systems to participate in a forthcoming demonstration. Welsh said the service will release a solicitation soon after the event. The service is referring to the rapid acquisition effort as "SpeedDealer."
"Current market research shows that due to advancements in technology, other alternatives are now available that can deliver the capability faster," Welsh said. "The Air Force believes there is technology that will allow for demonstration of production-ready systems within the next nine months."
3DELRR is meant to replace the Air Force's legacy AN/TPS-75 and serve as its primary ground-based sensor for long-range surveillance, detection and tracking. -- Courtney Albon
The U.S. Air Force has been trying to replace its radars since 2008. Now, it has to start all over again.www.military.com
But I'm told we're going to be introducing a new fighter every 5 years.The U.S. Air Force has been trying to replace its radars since 2008. Now, it has to start all over again.www.military.com
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – As the Air Force moves forward with its new acquisition strategy for the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar, the program office here selected three companies May 8 to participate in a rapid prototyping program to demonstrate expeditionary radar performance this summer.
The Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Northrop Grumman Corp. will participate under Other Transaction Agreements, and CEA Technologies, an Australian firm, will demonstrate their system through a Foreign Comparative Test project award.
3DELRR will be the principal Air Force ground-based sensor for long-range surveillance, detection and tracking of aerial targets in support of theater commanders and will replace the AN/TPS-75. The program office canceled a delayed development contract late last year, after determining that production-ready systems were available that could deliver the capability faster. The first step in the new strategy is this SpeedDealer demonstration that will allow the Air Force to assess the military utility of the systems to perform the 3DELRR mission.
“Based on our successful industry day in early February, we released a solicitation March 2 for companies to support our new aggressive strategy,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Judge, materiel leader. “We are excited to see what these three systems can do.”
Program office personnel requested responses to the solicitation by April 1, but extended the deadline to April 15 due to the pandemic. In less than one month’s time, the team evaluated all received proposals and made the selections.
Each award provides $500,000 for the companies to demonstrate their radar system’s capabilities, maintenance concepts and radar performance against operationally-relevant targets and conditions, no later than the end of September. Following the demonstration, a system that successfully completes the event may be selected for integration, and potentially production, contracts by the end of this calendar year.
By using a contracting mechanism known as an Other Transaction Authority, the team has greater flexibility in executing the SpeedDealer demonstration and streamlining the transition to follow-on production. The use of the Foreign Comparative Test program, a congressionally-approved authority, allows the Defense Department to test and acquire technologies from designated foreign sources to satisfy U.S. military needs.
“We are not starting over; this is not a new development contract,” said Col. Michael Harm, 3DELRR’s senior materiel leader. “Through the information presented during our industry day and received in the companies’ response to the solicitation, we were able to confirm that production-ready systems can be demonstrated this year.”
The Air Force anticipates a production-ready radar could reach initial operational capability by late fiscal year ’24.
“Our air control squadrons need this important capability, and this strategy will accelerate delivering it to them,” said Har