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February 25, 2014

BAE to continue maintenance of USAF’s space radars

BAE Systems has been awarded a contract extension to continue maintaining the US Air Force Space Command’s (AFSPC) solid state phased array radar system (SSPARS).

SSPAR radar

BAE Systems has been awarded a contract extension to continue maintaining the US Air Force Space Command’s (AFSPC) solid state phased array radar system (SSPARS).

The three-year award is a continuation of work the company has been performing for the programme since 2007, and increases the contract’s cumulative value to $540m.

Under the contract, the company provides a range of services, including around-the-clock operations and maintenance, to help AFSPC manage and sustain the critical assets used for missile warning and space surveillance operations.

BAE Systems Mission Support Solutions senior director Tom White said the contract extension builds on the company’s strong and successful track record in support of AFSPC.

"This program is a critical part of national defense, and our role ensures that our customer is always ready," White said.

Manufactured by Raytheon, the SSPAR is a part of the UK/US ballistic missile early warning system (BMEWS), which is designed to provide long-range warning of a ballistic missile attack over the polar region of the Northern Hemisphere.

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"The contract extension builds on the company’s strong and successful track record in support of AFSPC."

The radar consists of a 12ft three-sided truncated pyramid, with each face containing an array of 2,560 transmit/receive modules, with a circularly polarised Pawsey Stub antenna. It also detects and identifies various man-made objects, such as active or inactive satellites, rocket parts and other debris in space.

In addition to this, the radar tracks objects that may enter the atmosphere, which is critical to air missile defence operations and to protecting against the threat of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and is capable of keeping track of many hundreds of space objects a minute out to a range of 3,000NM.

The system locations include Cape Cod Air Force Station in Massachusetts, Beale Air Force Base in California, Clear Air Force Station in Alaska, Thule Air Base in Greenland, US and the Royal Air Force Fylingdales in the UK.


Image: The SSPARS radar identifies various man-made objects, such as active or inactive satellites, rocket parts, and other debris in space. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.

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