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17 Aug 16. Belarus receives first 59N6E early warning radar. Belarus has begun operating a 59N6E Protivnik-GE early warning surveillance radar, the country’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 16 August.
“[The new radar] will significantly increase the combat capabilities of the radio engineering troops,” said the MoD in a statement. “It will be possible to detect and track ballistic targets, increase the range of detection of air targets, increase mobility … [and] through the use of modern technology reduce the cost of operating the radar.” The mobile 59N6E Protivnik-GE, in Russian service since 1999, is built and designed by Russia’s Nizhniy Novogrod Research Institute of Radio Engineering (NNIIRT). The solid-state electronically scanned array L-band radar has a maximum range of around 400 km and is designed to track ballistic missiles, aircraft, cruise missiles, and other small (1.5 m²) air breathing threats (even if travelling at low speed). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Aug 16. DARPA is shrinking LIDAR to fit on a chip. Key Points
• The project could significantly increase the use of LIDAR
• MIT has demonstrated a transmit-and-receive capability on a chip
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is leading an effort to take what are now bulky expensive Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging (LIDAR) systems and make them small enough to fit on a microchip.
By bringing down LIDAR’s size and costs the project could spark a technological revolution like that from the miniaturisation of cameras for mobile phones, Josh Conway, programme manager of the Microsystems Technology Office for DARPA, told IHS Jane’s on 15 August.
“When it comes to resolution and size, when you want to sense the world around you LIDAR is the way to do it,” Conway said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Aug 16. Pending Patriot Radar Replacement Competition Heats Up. The competition is heating up for two missile defense industry giants Lockheed Martin and Raytheon as the Army’s deadline for accepting future integrated air-and-missile defense radar concepts from industry came to a close Monday.
Both companies are promising radar designs that can be fielded quickly and at agreeable price tags.
The Army has long grappled with when and how it will replace its current air-and-missile defense system — Raytheon’s Patriot — first fielded in 1982. And, at one point, planned to bring on the Lockheed Martin-made Medium Extended Air Defense System as the chosen replacement. But the Army canceled its plans to acquire the system. As part of a trinational development agreement with Germany and Italy, the service finished its proof-of-concept development phase and shelved the technology. Germany still plans to develop and acquire MEADS.
The recent request for information the Army released at the end of July shows it’s still figuring out its way forward, at least when it comes to the radar that would detect incoming threats as part of the future integrated system. For instance, the Army doesn’t know yet whether it wants to replace the Patriot radar or upgrade it.
“A key objective for the [Lower-Tier Air-and-Missile Defense Sensor] acquisition program is to upgrade or replace the current Patriot radar to improve the operational effectiveness against the emerging threat while reducing sustainment cost associated with the current radar,” the service writes in the request for information.
The Army goes on to say it wants a sensor that would be relatively mature — at a technology readiness level of 5 — by the end of fiscal 2017 and would cost less than $50m per unit.
The service has also said it wants 360 degrees of coverage against possible incoming threats.
Raytheon announced Monday that it had responded to the request for information with a “comprehensive vision for the next generation of air and missile def