James D. Syring, the director of the United States Missile Defense Agency, warned in recent Congressional testimony that ballistic missiles are growing more sophisticated, with small payloads that are difficult to detect at long distances with conventional radar systems.
To improve the chances of intercepting missiles, he advised deploying early warning radars to identify and track missiles shortly after launch. Through a recent trade deal, several countries allied with the United States will have easier access to missile defense technology.
The government is authorizing the sale of forward-mode AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radars to certain allies. The deal was sanctioned by the Arms Export Control Act, which allows the government to sell arms to foreign nations as long as it serves American security interests.
Developed by Raytheon, the AN/TPY-2 is a transportable, high-resolution, X-band, phased-array radar system. It is designed to provide tracking information on ballistic missiles shortly after they are launched. Raytheon has delivered 10 AN/TPY-2 systems to the United States Missile Defense Agency. Two more are in production.
Most of the systems have been deployed in forward-base mode to Japan, Turkey, Guam, and Israel. The system was recently sold to the United Arab Emirates in a terminal-based mode, which is configured as the targeting and fire control radar for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems.