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Raytheon gets $2.3bn for Saudi THAAD missile defense system radars

A US Army THAAD launching station prepares to load onto a 4th Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense announced it has been awarded a $2.3 billion contract for the delivery of seven gallium nitride (GaN)-based AN/TPY-2 radars for Saudi Arabia’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems.

The contract is part of Saudi Arabia’s $15 billion purchase of the ballistic missile defense systems. The kingdom is expected to procure a total of 360 interceptor missiles, while a formal letter of acceptance for 44 THAAD launchers was signed between the US and Saudi Arabia in 2018.

The mobile AN/TPY-2 missile defense radar that will be delivered by Raytheon for the systems uses X-band to clearly see ballistic missile threats. The radar operates in two modes: forward-based mode — which detects ballistic missiles and identifies any lethal objects as they rise after launch — and terminal mode as part of the THAAD system, which guides interceptors toward a descending missile’s warhead.

“These highly capable X-band radars are the sharpest eyes in the global missile defense system,” said Bryan Rosselli, vice president of Strategic Missile Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “The addition of GaN technology delivers capability for threats to be detected, tracked and discriminated with improved radar reliability.”

Of the 14 AN/TPY-2 radars produced, seven are fielded as a part of US-operated THAAD systems, five operate in forward-based mode for the US, and two are part of foreign military sales.

Raytheon photo of the mobile AN/TPY-2 radar