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Raytheon completes key milestones for GaN-based radar

Engineering team on track to have operational main array prototype early in 2016

Artist's rendering of Raytheon's 360-degree capable Patriot radar array

Raytheon has recently completed a series of company-funded milestones to upgrade the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System using GaN-based, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology. 

The AESA GaN milestones include: completing construction of the AESA main array structure; constructing the AESA arrays' radar shelter; integrating receivers and a radar digital processor into the radar shelter; delivering the shelter to Raytheon's test facility in Pelham; and testing the radar's cooling sub-system.

The Raytheon engineers who completed those milestones are currently constructing a GaN-based AESA, full-size, main panel radar array. The company says they are on track to have a full-scale main array prototype operational in early 2016.

"Raytheon has invested more than $150 million in GaN technology and learned invaluable lessons while building our GaN-based AESA full-scale prototype," said Ralph Acaba, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business. "This ensures Raytheon is able to rapidly develop, build, test and deliver a combat-ready GaN-based AESA radar that gives Patriot 360-degree capability."

The Raytheon-built GaN-based AESA radar uses three antenna arrays mounted on a mobile radar shelter to provide 360-degrees of radar coverage. The main AESA array is a bolt-on replacement for the current Patriot antenna. The GaN-based AESA array measures roughly 9' wide x 13' tall, and is oriented toward the primary threat. The new rear panel arrays are a quarter the size of the main array, and let the system look behind and to the sides of the main array to offer Patriot the ability to engage threats in all directions.

Raytheon has developed a new virtual reality app that puts users on a New England hilltop. It allows them to scan the horizon from the viewpoint of Raytheon's new 360-degree, missile-defense radar. The app requires a Google Cardboard viewer.

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