The AN/TPY-2 radar is a critical part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), which helps defend against raids of multiple, simultaneously impacting ballistic missiles. Raytheon recent upgrade to the radar’s computer processor enhances system performance during potential raids, and quickly and accurately discriminates between a missile’s warhead and non-threats. The new electronic equipment unit (EEU) weighs less, requires less power, and occupies less space than previous versions, while supplying approximately five times the processing power.
The high-resolution, mobile, rapidly deployable X-band radar offers long-range acquisition, precision track, and discrimination of short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It can be deployed globally in terminal or forward-based modes. With the terminal mode, the radar can function as the search, detect, track, discrimination, and fire-control radar for the THAAD weapon system. In forward-based mode, the AN/TPY-2 cues the BMDS by detecting, discriminating, and tracking enemy missiles in the ascent flight phase.
Raytheon delivered the first upgraded EEU to the Missile Defense Agency in January 2015. The MDA announced plans to replace all 10 EEUs currently in U.S. inventory with the upgraded versions. The EEUs will be replaced one at a time to ensure constant radar coverage throughout the entire process. This is especially important due to the rising threat of global ballistic missiles—U.S. intelligence agencies estimate more than 6300 ballistic missiles are not controlled by the U.S., NATO, China, or Russia. By 2020, that number is expected to reach 8000.