In order to meet the objective of providing short-range air defense throughout Switzerland, Lockheed Martin has signed a contract with the Swiss Defense Procurement Agency to provide 24 Portable Search and Target Acquisition Radars (PSTAR).
Typically, PSTAR interfaces with a weapons system such as a Stinger anti-aircraft missile. This will be the case in Switzerland and is one of the key reasons why it was chosen. As Kurt Kohler, the Defense Procurement Agency program manager explained, "Currently, our Stinger fire unit is coordinated by human observers who are dependent on daylight and high visibility.
PSTAR meets our requirements for working well under any visibility and it will replace our human observers to keep Stinger alerted 24 hours a day."
The PSTARs, which will be delivered from July 2004 to December 2004, are the first of a next generation radar system called PSTAR-Extended Range (PSTAR-ER). Its range has been expanded from 20 km to more than 30 km, while still fitting into the same small package. The result is that a PSTAR and its associated transit cases fit into the back of a standard military vehicle such as an M-998-series high mobility multiwheeled vehicle (HUMMV) and can be set up in 15 minutes or less by two people. Switzerland will deploy its PSTARs on customized trailers containing a mast, which will allow the radar antenna to be elevated above its normal height.