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Following the successful completion of Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) flight trials in the United States, the SELEX Galileo Vixen 500E active electronically scanned array (AESA) Air Intercept Radar and Mission Management System (MMS) have entered service with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on their Cessna Citation C-550 jet. The prime contractor for the programme is TKC Aerospace based in Charleston, South Carolina.
The new radar provides an enhanced capability in US border protection as part of the wider US Department of Homeland Security’s mission and builds on the success of the Seaspray 7500 AESA surveillance radars currently in service with the U.S. Coast Guard.
The AESA Antenna uses leading edge solid state transmitter-receiver module (TRM) technology to electronically steer the beam providing instantaneous beam repositioning to targets of interest. This is a key advantage over mechanically scanned radar systems. AESA technology also provides graceful degradation and greatly reduced through life costs for the customer.
The Vixen 500E radar is a compact, easy to install solution and forms part of the large family of scaleable SELEX Galileo AESA radars ranging from the small PicoSAR surveillance radar to the larger Vixen 1000E wide field of regard radar and also the Raven ES-05 Fire Control radar selected for the Gripen NG aircraft.
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