Airbus Defence and Space delivered the first of 23 new airport surveillance radars (ASR) to Germany at Büchel Airbase, the base of the German Air Force’s Air Wing 33, the company said on Thursday.

Airbus is beginning the hand-over of the radars under the terms of a $309 million upgrade contract from the German procurement authority.

The ASR systems are to replace 30-year-old radars that have been used in military air traffic control. The new radars are planned for approach control at the airfield and airspace surveillance within a 60 nautical mile/110 km radius to coordinate military flight movements with civil air traffic.

Airport Surveillance Radar. Photo: Airbus Defence and Space.
Airport Surveillance Radar. Photo: Airbus Defence and Space.

“ASR offers an extraordinary performance proven in an extensive test phase,” Thomas Müller, head of Airbus Defence and Space’s Electronics business line, said in a statement.

“In particular, the sophisticated signal processing guarantees reliable and exact target tracking even under difficult environmental conditions.”

The new radars consist of a primary radar with a basis of a semiconductor transmitter as well as a state-of-the-art signal processing technology for long-range surveillance, the company said. The ASR also includes the MSSR 2000 I secondary radar, used for automatic identification of individual aircraft.

The secondary radar meets a new air traffic control standard “Mode S,” which improves aircraft identification queries and is set to be introduced in Central European airspace, Airbus noted.