WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has cleared the way for allies to purchase and deploy a Raytheon-built ballistic missile defense radar in forward-based mode, according to a June 11 press release from the company.

In forward-based mode, meaning relatively close to potentially hostile launch sites, the AN/TPY-2 radar, built by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems,  is able to acquire and track ballistic missile shortly after they are launched.

The U.S. government previously allowed the sale and deployment of the radar only in terminal-based mode.

“As ballistic missiles proliferate and become more technically advanced, obtaining the forward-based AN/TPY-2 will enable America’s friends and allies to improve the performance of already capable defensive systems,”  Dave Gulla, vice president of Raytheon’s global integrated sensors business, said in the release.

U.S. intelligence agencies estimate more than 6,300 ballistic missiles exist outside the control of the United States, NATO, China and Russia.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.