Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems has completed all testing of a missile warning and space surveillance radar at Thule Air Base, Greenland, that it began upgrading for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in 2006, a Raytheon official said March 28.
The 50-year-old Upgraded Early Warning Radar is now capable of generating data that can be used operationally by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to defeat U.S.-bound long-range missiles, Pam Adams, Raytheon’s Thule program manager, said in an interview. Tewksbury, Mass.-based Raytheon completed the upgrade work on time and on budget under a $135 million contract from MDA, Adams said.
Raytheon built all five of the United States’ large, fixed-site Early Warning Radars in the Northern Hemisphere. Prior to upgrading the Thule radar with missile defense capabilities, the company similarly upgraded radars at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and Fylingdales Royal Air Force station in the United Kingdom, Adams said.
The MDA plans to begin the upgrade of the fourth Early Warning Radar at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, in 2012 that will be completed in 2016, agency budget documents show. Whereas the MDA sole-sourced the Thule upgrade contract to Raytheon, the MDA plans to hold a competition to upgrade the Clear radar, agency spokesman Rick Lehner said in a March 30 email.