Raytheon To Provide Podded ISR AESA
Raytheon has been awarded a contract to provide four podded dismount detection radar (DDR) systems to the U.S. Air Force. The SAR/GMTI (synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator) sensors are for carriage by General Atomics MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper UAVs, and the new radars will provide operators with the ability to find and track individuals and vehicles. The Block 5 is the forthcoming upgraded version of the Reaper.
DDR was initiated in early 2011 as a QRC (quick reaction capability) program for fielding in Afghanistan. Raytheon was originally handed a $76 million contract in February, but the award was subject to an appeal by Northrop Grumman. The U.S. Government Accountability Office rejected that appeal on May 25. Little detail has been revealed about DDR, other than it is an AESA (active electronically scanned antenna) radar. Mounting such a system in a pod allows it to be moved between individual platforms, and possibly platform types, to match mission requirements.