The world’s newest missile defense radar is gearing up for a road trip. Raytheon Company funded, developed and built a new Gallium Nitride (GaN) powered Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) main antenna for the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System.
Raytheon exhibited its prototype Patriot full-scale, GaN-based AESA radar in the company’s booth at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville, Alabama, from March 15-17.
“We’re bringing Raytheon’s GaN-based AESA radar to AUSA so current and future Patriot customers, decision-makers and thought leaders can see first-hand Raytheon’s vision for the future of lower-tier air and missile defense,” said Ralph Acaba, Vice President of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business.
“This milestone confirms that Raytheon can rapidly design, build, test and deliver a GaN-based AESA, radar capable of defeating all threats,” he added.
Raytheon’s GaN-based AESA main array is a critical step on the path to a GaN-based AESA radar with full 360-degree capability. In 2015, Raytheon demonstrated 360- degree capability with its GaN-based AESA pilot array. The new main AESA array is a bolt-on replacement for the current antenna, measuring roughly 9’ wide x 13’ tall and oriented toward the primary threat
“Raytheon believes the GaN-based AESA radar is the next logical upgrade to keep Patriot ahead of emerging threats. Patriot was designed to be continually upgraded, so in addition to AESA GaN technology, Raytheon has a robust, company-funded research and development pipeline which will ensure Patriot outpaces the evolving threat, even twenty to thirty years from now,” said Tim Glaeser, Vice President of Integrated Air and Missile Defense Business Development at Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business.
Raytheon’s GaN-based, AESA Patriot radar will work with future open architecture such as the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System. It retains backwards compatibility with the current Patriot Engagement Control Station and is fully interoperable with NATO.
The current Patriot radar uses a passive electronic scanning array radar. An AESA radar changes the way the Patriot radar searches the sky. Instead of shining a powerful, single transmitter through many lenses, the new array uses many smaller transmitters, each with its own control. The result is a system that is not only more flexible, with an adjustable beam for many different missions, but also more reliable; it still works even if some of the transmitters do not.
Raytheon's Global Patriot Solutions is the most advanced portfolio of air and missile defense technologies in the world, providing comprehensive protection against a full range of advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. Patriot is continually upgraded and enhanced to leverage the latest technology. Thirteen nations depend on Patriot as the foundation for their defense.
Raytheon has been leading the innovation and development of GaN for 15 years and has invested more than $200 million to get this latest technology in the hands of the warfighter faster and at lower cost and risk. Raytheon has demonstrated the maturity of the technology in a number of ways, including exceeding the reliability requirement for insertion into the production of military systems.
Raytheon Company, with 2015 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions.
With a history of innovation spanning 94 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration,C5ITM products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries.