Solid State Phased Array Radar System


The Solid State Phased Array Radar System[1] (SSPARS, colloquially "BMEWS radar network'" as late as 2004)[2] is a United States Space Force radar, computer, and communications system for missile warning and space surveillance "at five (5) geographically separated units worldwide including Beale Air Force Base, CA, Cape Cod Space Force Station, MA, Clear Space Force Station, AK, RAF Fylingdales, UK, and Pituffik Space Base, Greenland."[3] SSPARS completed replacement of the RCA 474L Ballistic Missile Early Warning System when the last SSPAR (phased array radar with 2500 "solid state transmitter" modules)[4] was operational at Clear in 2001,[1] the year SSPARS equipment included:

  • Raytheon AN/FPS-123 PAVE PAWS Radar[5] at Beale (FPS-115 IOC April 4, 1980) and Cape Cod (FPS-115 IOC August 15, 1980)[6]
  • Raytheon AN/FPS-120 Solid State Phased Array Radar at Thule ("2QFY87")[7] with greater radar capabilities than the FPS-115 PAVE PAWS radars
  • Raytheon AN/FPS-126 Solid State Phased Array Radar at Fylingdales with three faces for 360 degree coverage (constructed August 1989-October 1992)[8]
  • Raytheon AN/FPS-120[9] Solid State Phased Array Radar using an older antenna from the 1987[10] PAVE PAWS EWR in Texas (groundbreaking April 16, 1998,[9] for the "Clear Radar Upgrade")[11]
Coverage of the original PAVE PAWS and BMEWS systems, later upgraded to SSPARS and eventually to UEWR
BMEWS solid-state phased-array radar at RAF Fylingdales

After the Fylingdales BMEWS radars had been replaced by Raytheon/Cossor AeroSpace and Control Data Corporation (embedded CDC-Cyber computer) at a cost of US $100M,[citation needed] in February 1995 the "missile warning center at Cheyenne Mountain AS [was] undergoing a $450 million upgrade program".[12] The entire SSPARS became operational on January 31, 2001 when the "SSPARS Site"[13] at Clear AFS (separate from the BMEWS site) had Initial Operational Capability.[14] The Clear AN/FPS-120 was subsequently "upgraded to the AN/FPS-123 model" SSPA Radar,[15] and the SSPARS was modified in the Early Warning Radar Service Life Extension Program[1] The US approved sale of an[which?] AN/FPS-115 to Taiwan in 2000[16] and it was introduced in 2006.[17]

AN/FPS-132 Upgraded Early Warning Radar Edit

The AN/FPS-132 Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) is a series of phased array radar systems used for long-range early warning and space surveillance, operating as part of the United States Missile Defense and Space Surveillance Network.

The AN/FPS-132 Block-5 was ordered by the Qatar Emiri Air Force, and is in construction.[18]

History Edit

The Solid State Phased Array Radar System began replacing PAVE PAWS when the first AN/FPS-115 face was taken off-line for the radar upgrade. New AN/FPS-123 Early Warning Radars became operational in (Beale) and (Cape Cod) in each base's existing PAVE PAWS "Scanner Building".[19]

The UK and Alaska BMEWS stations became SSPARS radar stations when their respective AN/FPS-126 radar [20] and 2001 AN/FPS-120 became operational.[21] In 2007, 100 owners/trustees of amateur radio repeaters near AN/FPS-123 radars were notified to lower their power output to mitigate interference,[22] and AN/FPS-123s were part of the Air Force Space Surveillance System by 2009.[23] BAE Systems began a 2007 contract for SSPARS maintenance.[24] The SSPARS radar electronics was subsequently upgraded, e.g., the Beale radar[16] and the Fylingales FPS-126 each became an AN/FPS-132 Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR)[25] by Raytheon.[26] The Beale AN/FPS-123 was upgraded to a Raytheon AN/FPS-132 (UEWR) with capabilities to operate in the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) ABM system—the Beale UEWR included "Avionics", "T/R modules",[27] "FEX/TTG", "BSG", "Signal Processor", and other changes.[28] After additional UEWR installations for GMD at Thule Site J and the UK (contracted 2003),[29] a 2012 ESD/XRX Request for Information for replacement, and remote operation, of the remaining "PAVE PAWS/BMEWS/PARCS systems" at Cape Cod, Alaska, and North Dakota was issued.[30] The Alaska AN/FPS-132 was contracted in fall 2012[31] and the Cape Cod installation in 2013.[16]

System overview Edit

Locations Edit



External image

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c Chapman, Bert (2008). Space Warfare and Defense: A Historical Encyclopedia and Research Guide (Google books). ISBN 9781598840063. Retrieved 2014-03-13. BMEWS was replaced by the Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS) in 2001. ... CINCAD (Command in Chief, Aerospace Defense Command)
  2. ^ Carter, Austin; Mattorano, Gino, eds. (2004). Space Command Almanac 2004-2005 (PDF) (Report). HQ AFSPACECOMM Public Affairs.
  3. ^ "Operations, Maintenance and Support for the Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS) at 5 Geographically Separated Units WorldWide". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  4. ^[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ Communications-Electronics (C-E) Managers Handbook (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 2014-03-13. AN/FPS-49 has a traditional azimuth bearing assembly (race and steel balls) while the AN/FPS-92 has a hydrostatic bearing (antenna floats on a high pressure film of hydraulic fluid). AN/FPQ-16 Radar Set, Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System - PARCS: PARCS is a single faced phased array radar system consisting of AN/FPQ-16 radar and an AN/FSQ-100 computer system located at Cavalier AFS, ND. The primary mission of the PARCS is to provide the CMC with TW/AA data on all SLBMs penetrating the coverage area. ... FORCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (FMS) PROVIDES THE CONUS NORAD REGION COMMANDER WITH TIME SENSITIVE INFORMATION
  6. ^ Pike, John. "AN/FPS-115 PAVE PAWS Radar".
  7. ^ "Clear Upgrade (U)".
  8. ^ Stocker, Jeremy (2004). Gray, Colin S.; Murray, Williamson (eds.). Britain and Ballistic Missile Defence 1942-2002 (PDF). Frank Cass. ISBN 0-203-30963-4. ISSN 1473-6403. Retrieved 2014-03-09. in March 1963 an Air Ministry review of ABM systems said of MIDAS that 'performance to date has been disappointing'.78 … A teletype circuit was established between NORAD and the ADOC in Britain to pass information derived from Site 1 at Thule.95 This was supplemented by a voice circuit with agreed formatted messages, and both were operational by October 1960. … AN/FPS-49 Range resolution 240 nm Maximum range 2,650 nm Minimum target at 1,650 m 2.8 m2 Impact accuracy North America 135 nm
  9. ^ a b Pike, John. "Clear AFS".
  10. ^ "Eldorado AFS Dedication - 1987".
  11. ^ "AN/FPS-120 Solid State Phased-Array System [SSPARS]: Clear Radar Upgrade". Retrieved 2014-03-08.
  12. ^ Orban, SSgt. Brian (February 1995). "The trip wire". Guardian. Air Force Space Command. p. 6. North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command command center. ... For more than 30 years, the crews operating the missile warning center inside Cheyenne Mountain have maintained an early warning trip line [for] incoming ballistic missiles
  13. ^ "Clear Air Force Station, Alaska".
  14. ^ "Clear AFS, AK". Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  15. ^ "AN/FPS-115, AN/FPS-120, AN/FPS-123, AN/FPS-126".
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2014-05-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "US radar system a waste of money for Taiwan: Magazine|Politics|News|". Archived from the original on 2014-09-07. Retrieved 2014-05-27.
  18. ^ "Qatar - AN/FPS-132 Block 5 Early Warning Radar | Defense Security Cooperation Agency". Retrieved 2023-06-26.
  19. ^ Photographs [and] Written Historical and Descriptive Data: Cape Cod Air Station Technical Facility/Scanner Building and Power Plant (PDF) (Report). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-06-10. Technical Facility/Scanner Building (HAER No. MA-151-A), which houses the AN/FPS-1152 radar and related equipment… PAVE PAWS Site 1 … AN/FSS-7…designed by Avco Electronics Division… The first two PAVE PAWS sites in Massachusetts and California represented the first two-faced phased array radars deployed by the U.S.
  20. ^ "AN/FPS-115, AN/FPS-120, AN/FPS-123, AN/FPS-126". Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  21. ^ "Raytheon completes upgrades to BMEWS radar in Alaska - 16 Mar 2001".
  22. ^ "W5YI".
  23. ^ Chatters, Maj Edward P, IV; Crothers, Maj Brian J. (2009). "Chapter 19: Space Surveillance Network" (PDF). AU-18 Space Primer (PDF). Air University. p. 252. Retrieved 2014-06-06. Perimeter Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased-Array Weapons System (PAVE PAWS){{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "BAE Systems To Continue Maintaining SSPARS Radar Network for U.S. Air Force -". 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on March 19, 2014.
  25. ^ "U.S. to Sell Large Early Warning Radar to Qatar (August 7, 2013) (corrected February 10, 2014)". 7 August 2013.
  26. ^ "Fylingdales". Archived from the original on 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
  27. ^ "Avionics Magazine :: Northrop Grumman Sets T/R Module Standard".
  28. ^ "ALERT" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-13.
  29. ^[bare URL PDF]
  30. ^ PAVE PAWS, BMEWS, and PARCS Radar Systems (Solicitation),, January 23, 2012, retrieved 2014-06-11, The PAVE PAWS and BMEWS Beam Steering Unit (BSU), Receiver Exciter (REX), Receiver Beam Former (RBF), Array Group Driver (AGD), Radio Frequency Monitor (RFM), Frequency Time Standard (FTS), and the Corporate Feed (CFD) were built for these five radars in the late 1970s and were upgraded in the 1980s. … The PARCS Signal Processing Group (SPG) has received only "band-aid" fixes since the site's Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 1975
  31. ^ "PAVE PAWS Radar Upgrades: Clear AFS Goes from Warning to BMD Targeting".
  32. ^ Qatar long-range radar purchase moves forward, Jeremy Burnie, Jane's Defence Weekly, 13 December 2016, accessed 2017-01-11