Raytheon has increased by five times the processing speed of the AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar, an improvement that the company says will help the sensor better discriminate between incoming missiles and decoys.

That capability will become especially important as missile threats become increasingly sophisticated, the company said in an Oct. 23 press release.

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. James Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), has said repeatedly that improved discrimination is one of the MDA’s top priorities.

The upgrade will first appear in an AN/TPY-2 radar bound for an undisclosed overseas customer, Raytheon said. However, the company has made only one foreign sale of the radar: to the United Arab Emirates as part of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system being built for that country by Lockheed Martin.

The upgrade will be introduced to the U.S. Defense Department on the 12th AN/TPY-2 radar. Raytheon has sold 11 of the radars to the MDA and is negotiating the sale of the 12th, said Mike Nachshen, a company spokesman.

The company is also in discussions with the MDA to retrofit the current radars with the higher-speed processing capability, Nachshen said. Thus far, Raytheon has completed construction of eight of those radars, with the remaining three in various stages of production, Nachshen said.