The U.S. Dept. of Defense issued a $7 million award to Raytheon for its medium-range air and missile defense radar development program. It is the first government investment in the GhostEye MR component of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), which is a distributed and networked, ground-based missile system to defend against incoming unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, cruise missiles, and fixed-wing aircraft.
NASAMS is a co-production of Raytheon and a Norwegian company, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. Up to now, GhostEye MR has been an internal Raytheon development based on its own R&D investments.
The DoD investment will support continued radar development, followed by an operational assessment at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico later this year. Funds will be provided from the U.S. Air Force Research Lab's Strategic Developmental Planning & Experimentation office and the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Rapid Prototyping Program (RPP).
Those tests will assess the operational performance of GhostEye MR, with the radar providing insights for integrating the new system with NASAMS. Last September, another Raytheon unit - Strategic Developmental Planning & Experimentation, conducted a successful, airbase air-defense experiment in Andøya, Norway, to show NASAMS' ability to engage and intercept various advanced aerial threats using different Raytheon missiles and Kongsberg’s Fire Distribution Center.
The upcoming assessment of GhostEye MR will use the U.S. Air Force's relevant command and control to link GhostEye MR with NASAMS' FDC.
"This government support confirms the growing relevance and demand for the capabilities of GhostEye MR, as nations around the globe look to bolster their air defense," stated Raytheon’s Tom Laliberty, president of Land & Air Defense Systems. "Partnering with DoD, Air Force, and Kongsberg, we will showcase the sensor's range of capabilities against a multitude of emerging threats."