The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) will soon have greater agility and capability in its fleet of AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radars. Raytheon has begun construction of two major sub-components of the AN/TPY-2 under a $53 million contract announced by the Department of Defense on Sept 2.
The units Raytheon is building will enable the MDA to rotate sub-components out of the field to receive depot-level upgrades while keeping the radars up and running.
AN/TPY-2 is a critical element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. It is a mobile X-band radar that is integral in protecting civilians and infrastructure in the U.S., deployed warfighters, and allied nations and security partners, from the growing ballistic missile threat. U.S. intelligence agencies estimate there are more than 6,300 ballistic missiles not controlled by the U.S., NATO, China or Russia. That number is expected to reach almost 8,000 by 2020.
"The AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar is a strategic asset which helps protect the people and things that matter 24/7/365," said Raytheon's Dave Gulla, vice president of Integrated Defense Systems' Global Integrated Sensors business area.
The two trailer-sized sub-components Raytheon is building are the Electronic Equipment Unit (EEU) and the Cooling Equipment Unit (CEU). The EEU contains the processors or "brains" of the AN/TPY-2, with upgrades that enable the radar to more quickly and accurately discriminate threats from non-threats, and enhance performance during missile raids. The CEU keeps the radar operating at the optimal temperature, and distributes power to the system.
AN/TPY-2 is a high resolution, mobile, rapidly deployable X-band radar capable of providing long range acquisition, precision track, and discrimination of all classes of ballistic missiles. The AN/TPY-2 may be deployed globally in either terminal or forward-based mode.
The AN/TPY-2 radar has two modes. In forward-based mode, the AN/TPY-2 cues the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), by detecting, discriminating and tracking enemy ballistic missiles in the ascent phase of flight. In terminal mode, it serves as the fire control radar for the THAAD system.
- AN/TPY-2 has performed flawlessly in both terminal and forward-based mode in all major tests.
- On Sept 10, 2013, two AN/TPY-2 radars – one terminal and one forward-based – achieved all test objectives in FTO-01, the U.S. military's first operational test of the Ballistic Missile Defense System.
- The forward-based AN/TPY-2 extended the battlespace during FTM-15 by enabling a Standard Missile-3 to launch on remote and intercept a separating Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile.
- Raytheon has delivered nine AN/TPY-2s to the Missile Defense Agency. Some of those radars are currently helping defend the U.S. and its allies in the European, Pacific and Central Command area of responsibilities.