Raytheon [RTN] said it completed the redesign of eight circuit card assemblies for a U.S. Middle East security partner Foreign Military Sales (FMS) AN/TPY-2 radar.

This moves that security partner another step closer to an enhanced ballistic missile defense capability as the redesigned cards are part of the continuing and comprehensive AN/TPY-2 modernization effort, the company said yesterday at the Paris Air Show.

That FMS customer is likely the United Arab Emirates, which in 2011 became the first, and to date only, international customer for the sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. The radar will be provided to the UAE through the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) as a $582.5 million FMS sale under the Arms Export Control Act.

AN/TPY-2   Photo: Raytheon

AN/TPY-2s are an integral part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System MDA is building to protect the United States, its deployed troops, allies and partners. The high resolution, mobile, rapidly deployable X-band radar can provide long-range acquisition, precision track, and discrimination of all classes of ballistic missiles, from short-range ballistic missiles to intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The AN/TPY-2s Raytheon is producing for the FMS customer will serve in terminal mode as the search, detect, track, discrimination and fire-control radar for the THAAD weapon system.

The redesigned circuit cards extend the advanced capabilities found within the original components, while incorporating technologies and processes that were unavailable when Raytheon delivered the first AN/TPY-2 in 2004. The new cards will be inserted into all new AN/TPY-2 radars Raytheon produces.

Jim Bedingfield, director, Missile Defense & Space Programs, Global Integrated Sensors at Raytheon, said, “while there’s not a marked difference in capability, there’s a marked difference in efficiency and the ability to get up to date technology while cost-sharing.”

In a time of strong budget pressures, there is a strong mutual interest between FMS customers and the United States to keep radars up to date, and to share costs as well as keeping the parts up to date to address obsolescence, he said yesterday in an interview.

The new circuit card assemblies have the same form-fitting function as current units, Bedingfield said. The new assemblies would be applied on an “as needed basis” across the fleet, depending on customer requirements. The current fleet includes AN/TPY-2 radars the United States uses as test assets, as well as those forward deployed in Japan, Israel and Turkey.

As more international customers are added and "we start to build a pool of TPY-2 radars,” Raytheon will likely build a system similar to that of its Patriot missile system and its 12 partner nations, he said. For Patriot, the users decide what is next for the system and share the costs accordingly. The users examine what threats are coming and what threats need to be addressed.

“Cost sharing works, because generally there are not policy questions at hand,” Bedingfield said. There are strong mutual interests and the policy barriers come down, somewhat different than in operational coalitions where variable policies come to the fore.

For the radar, “the redesign ensures uninterrupted production of the AN/TPY-2 radar, a critical element in the defense against the growing ballistic missile threat that endangers the U.S., our warfighters, allies and partners,” said Dave Gulla, vice president of Global Integrated Sensors in Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “With more than 6,300 ballistic missiles outside the control of the U.S., NATO, Russia and China, Raytheon is seeing significantly increased demand for the capability the AN/TPY-2 radar delivers.”

For example, in November 2012, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a potential $6.5 billion FMS to Qatar for two THAAD Fire Units and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $6.5 billion.

The very precise TPY-2 X-band radar data can be used to cue missiles other than THAAD. For example during tests in 2011, the data was used for Aegis SM-3 and Ground-Based Interceptor intercepts. The TPY-2 radar data can be used to refine other sensor data on hostile missile tracks as well as being able to see great distances.

 On Oct. 25, 2012, two AN/TPY-2 radars–one terminal and one forward-based–participated in FTI-01, the Missile Defense Agency’s largest and most complex missile defense flight test. In a complex raid scenario involving multiple targets, both radars met or exceeded all test objectives.