Raytheon has netted a contract worth €96 million ($125 million) to upgrade the United States’ Air Force AN/FPS-115 PAVE PAWS ground-based early warning radar located at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska which is operated by the 13th Space Warning Squadron.
The low-frequency AN/FPS-115 radar provides space surveillance to detect incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles heading for Canada and the Continental United States. It provides track assessments to this end to US Strategic Command (US STRATCOM) Headquarters at Offut Air Force Base, Nebraska. The AN/FPS-115 based at Clear is one of two other similar radars located at Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts, operated by the 6th Space Warning Squadron; and the 7th Space Warning Squadron-operated radar at Beale Air Force Station, California. Both these radars also send data to US STRATCOM.
The site at Alaska provides coverage over the Arctic and north Pacific Oceans. The Beale site provides coverage over the Pacific coast while the site at Cape Cod covers the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
The upgrade will allow the radar at Clear to send targeting information to ground-based missile defence systems. Raytheon will upgrade this radar with new software and electronics, with the upgrade scheduled for completion in 2017.
ChainHomeHigh reported in February that the USAF was expected to launch the upgrade of the AN/FPS-115 system, together with the service’s Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterisation System and the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.