US Air Force Research Laboratory Exercises Option for X-band Thin Radar Aperture
Raytheon Co.’s option to proceed with its X-band thin radar aperture (XTRA) contract has been exercised, allowing the company to produce the next generation radar antenna technology for the J-UCAS (Joint Unmanned Air Combat System) that could revolutionize manned and unmanned combat systems. The AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) exercised the option following the proof of concept phase of the contract that was issued in April 2004. “This is a significant confirmation of the innovative technologies that are at the heart of the next generation systems Raytheon is developing for our smaller and lighter unmanned systems,” said Tom Kennedy, vice president, Unmanned and Reconnaissance Systems business unit. “We look forward to applying XTRA to a variety of platforms.” The XTRA array technology has advanced transmit and receive capabilities, is light weight and lower cost than existing technology, and is suitable for the larger unmanned combat systems, such as the J-UCAS, as well as smaller unmanned airborne systems and other manned aircraft. The initial funding for this effort is $4 M. Raytheon received its first award to develop the design for XTRA in April 2004. XTRA is one of several revolutionary approaches to small and affordable arrays in development by Raytheon.