The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre (AFLCMC) awarded Raytheon a $52.6 million contract on 11 May for the three-dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR). The system is intended to replace the AN/TPS-75 (‘TIPSY 75’) as the Air Force’s principal ground-based sensor for long-range detection and tracking of aerial targets.

The 3DELRR will enhance battlespace awareness through detection and reporting of highly manoeuvrable, small radar cross-section targets. Moreover, it will provide air controllers with a precise, real-time picture of sufficient quality to conduct control of individual aircraft under a variety of operational conditions.

According to programme managers, the new award balances radar performance with long-term sustainability and maintainability. In addition, 3DELRR incorporates exportability features and open systems architecture early in the design to reduce per-unit production and total life costs. In addition to improving battle space awareness, 3DELRR is designed to be readily transportable, decreasing the time between a combatant commander’s request for persistent, ground-based command and control, and when it can be delivered.

Our warfighter customer has been waiting to replace its aging AN/TPS-75 for a long time,” Col. Michael Harm, AFLCMC’s Programme Manager for 3DELRR, commented. “Awarding the 3DELRR contract is a huge step toward that end.”

The contract was originally awarded in October 2014, but the programme re-entered source selection due to protests and appeals. The solicitation was amended in 2016 to include full-rate production options in order to maximise the benefits of a competitive environment and set the table for faster fielding of capability after government testing. Full replacement of the AN/TPS-75 systems is expected by 2029.

Raytheon’s 3DELRR will replace the existing USAF AN/TPS-75 radars by 2029. (Photo: US Air Force)

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