Raytheon’s 360-degree AESA radar passes 3,000 hours of operations

Raytheon Company’s 360-degree capable, gallium nitride -powered active electronically scanned array, a Raytheon funded and proposed upgrade to the Patriot® Air and Missile Defense System, recently completed 3,000 hours of operation.

“The company-funded radar has demonstrated 360-degree capability, tracking tactical targets such as maneuvering fighter aircraft, simulated cruise and ballistic missiles, and drones,” said Tom Laliberty, Raytheon Vice President of Integrated Air and Missile Defense for Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business at the ILA Berlin Air Show.

To prove 360-degree capability of the Raytheon-funded radar, a main AESA GaN antenna array worked with a second GaN-based AESA antenna that was pointed in a different direction. As targets flew out of one array’s field of view and into another, the two arrays seamlessly passed information back and forth, continuously tracking — and providing quality fire control data — on multiple targets.

“It is clear that our partner Raytheon’s radar has far surpassed the decades-old, 20th-century gallium arsenide radar technology being proposed by the MEADS development project,” said Harald Mannheim, Rheinmetall’s Senior Vice President and Head of Air Defence Programmes Germany. “Raytheon’s AESA GaN technology is capable, mature and ideally suited for the needs of the German Air Force.”

Rheinmetall and Raytheon have a strategic teaming agreement, providing a full spectrum integrated air defense solution for the German Air Force.

“Our partner Raytheon is able to rapidly deliver this capability, ensuring that Germany will have the ability to defend its forces from threats in any direction, even, if required for the upcoming Baltic deployment in 2023 in support of NATO operations,” Mannheim added.

The Raytheon-funded GaN-based AESA radar will work with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System and other open architectures. It maintains compatibility with the current Patriot Engagement Control Station and is full interoperability with NATO systems, such as the German SAMOC.