Military Embedded Systems

Missile defense radar, AN/TPY-2, gets processor upgrade from Raytheon


February 23, 2015

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

TEWKSBURY, Mass. Raytheon engineers upgraded the computer processor of the AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar, which will allow the system to work better during raids and more quickly and accurately discriminate between a missile's warhead, and non-threats such as countermeasures.

The AN/TPY-2's electronic equipment unit (EEU) now has a state-of-the-art, commercially available computer processor that has about five times the processing power as the previous system, says Dave Gulla, Raytheon vice president of Global Integrated Sensors in the company's Integrated Defense Systems business.

The new processor has reduced weight and power. I also occupies less space than the older system.

An element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), AN/TPY-2 is a mobile X-band radar built to protect civilians and infrastructure in the U.S., deployed warfighters, and allied nations and security partners, from global ballistic missile threats. According to U.S. intelligence agencies there are estimated to be more than 6,300 ballistic missiles not controlled by the U.S., NATO, China, or Russia. That number is expected to grow to almost 8,000 by 2020.

Raytheon delivered the first upgraded EEU to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) last month. MDA officials previously announced they intend to replace the EEU of a fielded AN/TPY-2 with the upgraded EEU, and then send the older EEU back to Raytheon for the upgrade. This process will repeat until all ten EEUs in the U.S. inventory are upgraded. MDA is using this approach to ensure constant radar coverage throughout the upgrade process.

New Raytheon-built radars for U.S. and international users will also have the upgrade.

AN/TPY-2 is a mobile, high-resolution, rapidly deployable X-band radar that can provide long range acquisition, precision track, and discrimination of short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The radar may be deployed globally in either terminal or forward-based mode. In terminal mode, the system serves as the search, detect, track, discrimination, and fire-control radar for the THAAD weapon system, allowing the THAAD missile to intercept and destroy threats. In forward-based mode, the AN/TPY-2 system cues the BMDS by detecting, discriminating, and tracking enemy ballistic missiles in the ascent phase of flight.

Raytheon has provided ten AN/TPY-2s to the MDA. Some of those radars are now helping defend the U.S. and its allies in the European, Pacific, and Central Command responsibility areas.


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