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Navy pursuing new radar for P-8 Poseidon

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posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 11:45 PM
The Navy is pursuing a new radar system to fit to the P-8A. This would allow them to perform a mission similar to the E-8 JSTARS, as well as a maritime surveillance mission. The radar would fit in a pod that would fit under the fuselage similar to the E-8. It's going to be attached to airframe T-1, and testing is expected to be completed in 2016.

The airframe will be fitted with the Raytheon Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS). The AAS is an advancement on the black project Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) carried on some P-3s. We're learning more about LSRS lately, such as it's capable of being used to target stand off missiles. The LSRS is based on an AESA platform, and is a double sided antenna, allowing it to look left and right, and can interleave GMTI and SAR modes at the same time, instead of either one or the other. The LSRS is said to be much better than the APY-7 carried by the E-8, and the AAS is an improvement on LSRS.

A lot of information about this project is being very closely held, but there is talk that either the Navy would dedicate some airframes to overland observation as well as maritime surveillance, or that Boeing would sell as many as 15 airframes to the USAF to replace the E-8. The Air Force doesn't want to put any more money into a large GMTI platform, but the thinking is that the Army would say that they desperately need to keep the capability, and that the Air Force would have to supply it.

A full-scale development program is underway to develop a version of the U. S. Navy's Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), fitted with a long-range, high-resolution surveillance radar. It could provide a ready-made, Navy-funded replacement for the aging Joint Stars while potentially performing maritime targeting missions.

The Raytheon Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS) project, which has been under contract since July 2009, has received Milestone B approval for development and production planning and is proceeding toward critical design review.

Boeing received a $277 million contract in February to modify the first P-8A, aircraft T-1, for aerodynamic and structural tests of the AAS radar pod, which is carried under the fuselage. Those tests are to be completed by August 2016. The radar itself, a much-modernized evolutionary development of the Raytheon APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) is to be tested on a P-3C Orion, the current carrier for the APS-149. The value of the radar development contract has not been disclosed.



A U.S. Navy radar developed in secrecy for tracking targets at sea has been playing an important role on land because of its ability to track objects smaller than trucks or cars. One knowledgeable official says the radar is one of the "groundbreaking" insurgent-hunting technologies referred to, though not by name, in Bob Woodward's latest book, "The War Within."

The Littoral Surveillance Radar System, or LSRS, was "born black" and developed as a "deeply, deeply classified system," according to a knowledgeable official who was not authorized to speak for the program. LSRS operates from P-3C Orions and can be used to track targets on land or sea, and to provide images of those targets to intelligence analysts and commanders. Boeing, Raytheon and L-3 Communications collaborated on it.

The secret of LSRS is its fidelity. Other airborne radars, including the 17-year-old Army-Air Force Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft, can track cars and trucks through clouds and at night. Because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pentagon pushed the U.S. defense industry to develop radars capable of detecting and tracking people. In 2008, Northrop Grumman reported that an experimental airborne sensor called the Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar had detected people during a flight over a test range in Maryland. Northrop Grumman says that radar would be small enough to fit on a Predator UAV.


This one was having a bad day:
edit on 4/16/2014 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)


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