RTX, formerly known as Raytheon Technologies, is set to initiate testing of a new medium-range sensor, bolstered by recent government contracts awarded by the U.S. Air Force. This development marks a significant step in the progress of RTX’s GhostEye MR radar project.
Government Contracts Support GhostEye MR Radar Development
RTX secured $7 million in funding through government contracts from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Strategic Development, Planning and Experimentation Office and the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Rapid Prototyping Program. These contracts will facilitate the continued development and testing of the GhostEye MR radar. Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar
GhostEye MR: A Multimission Medium-Range Radar
GhostEye MR is a medium-range multimission radar designed to detect, track, and identify various threats, including cruise missiles, drones, and both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. This radar system can function independently or integrate seamlessly with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) for safeguarding overseas air bases. Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar
Moving GhostEye MR Towards Pentagon Involvement
While the contract’s total value may appear modest in comparison to others, RTX views it as an opportunity to transition GhostEye MR from internal research and development efforts into a project with active Pentagon involvement. Joe DeAntona, Raytheon’s vice president of requirements and capabilities for land and air defense systems, highlighted this transition’s significance.
Operational Testing Scheduled for September
The funding secured will enable an operational test of GhostEye MR at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, scheduled for September. This marks a crucial step toward assessing its effectiveness. Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar Air Defense Radar
Building on Prior Success in Andøya, Norway
In September 2022, RTX and the lab conducted an experiment in Andøya, Norway, demonstrating how NASAMS, developed in collaboration with Norwegian firm Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace, could defend air bases against advanced aerial threats. The upcoming operational assessment will expand upon this success by integrating GhostEye MR with NASAMS’ Fire Distribution Center.
Three Years of Development Preceding Government Contracts
GhostEye MR has undergone more than three years of development. Prior to securing government contracts, RTX funded its development, prototyping, and testing through internal research and development efforts. Prototyping work was carried out at RTX facilities in New England.
Rapid Production Readiness
DeAntona emphasized RTX’s readiness to commence production if the government decides to proceed with GhostEye MR. The technology is matured, and production could begin within a matter of months, accommodating customer feedback and demand.
Features and Versatility of GhostEye MR
GhostEye MR boasts portability, cutting-edge sensor technology, and the capability to track diverse threats, ranging from high-speed to low-speed targets. Its modular technologies allow for various operational configurations.
Shared Technology and Distinctions
RTX pointed out that GhostEye MR shares some technology with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, although it serves a distinct mission compared to GhostEye MR.
Advanced Radar Technology
GhostEye MR utilizes an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar constructed from gallium nitride, enabling a stronger and more sensitive, longer-range radar signal. AESA technology also offers comprehensive 360-degree coverage.
Software-Defined Aperture for Enhanced Capabilities
RTX highlights GhostEye MR’s software-defined aperture, facilitating the addition of enhanced capabilities through software upgrades.
NASAMS and Global Deployment
NASAMS is employed by the United States to safeguard airspace over the National Capital Region and has been provided to Ukraine to bolster its defense efforts against Russia’s invasion.