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The Solid State Phased Array Radar System[2] (SSPARS, colloquially "BMEWS radar network'" as late as 2004)[3] is a USAF radar, computer, and communications system for missile warning and space surveillance "at five (5) geographically separated units worldwide including Beale AFB, CA, Cape Cod, AFS, MA, Clear AFS, AK, RAF Fylingdales, UK, and Thule AB, Greenland."[4] 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)[5] was operational at Clear in 2001,[2] the year SSPARS equipment included:

  • Raytheon AN/FPS-123 PAVE PAWS Radar[6] at Beale (FPS-115 IOC April 4, 1980) and Cape Cod (FPS-115 IOC August 15, 1980)[7]
  • Raytheon AN/FPS-120 Solid State Phased Array Radar at Thule ("2QFY87")[8] 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).[9]
  • Raytheon AN/FPS-120[10] Solid State Phased Array Radar using an older antenna from the 1987 PAVE PAWS EWR in Texas (groundbreaking April 16, 1998,[10] for the "Clear Radar Upgrade")[11]

After the Fylingdales BMEWS radars had been replaced by Raytheon/Cossor AeroSpace and Control Data Corporation (embedded CDC-Cyber computer) at a cost of US $100M,[citation needed] in February 1995 the "missile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" at Clear AFS (separate from the BMEWS site) had Initial Operational Capability.[13] The Clear AN/FPS-120 was subsequently "upgraded to the AN/FPS-123 model" SSPA Radar,[14] and the SSPARS was modified in the Early Warning Radar Service Life Extension Program[2] The US approved sale of an[which?] AN/FPS-115 to Taiwan in 2000 [1] and it was introduced in 2006.[2] BAE Systems began a 2007 contract for SSPARS maintenance.[3] The SSPARS radar electronics was subsequently upgrated, e.g., the Beale radar [4] and the Fylingales FPS-126 each became an AN/FPS-132 Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR)[15] by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.[16]

External images
AN/FPS-32 UEWR

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/nssrm/initiatives/eldorad.htm
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Chapman, Bert (Google books). Space Warfare and Defense: A Historical Encyclopedia and Research Guide. http://books.google.com/books?id=Ae9f-7bV5w4C&pg=PA153&lpg=PA153&dq=%22Early+Warning+Radar%22+SSPARS&source=bl&ots=X4Ovg2YUnV&sig=9Vjgn3VAFgH9QDEuqfDtLinhceE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ws0hU-b0EcfmkAfIoIDYCA&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22Early%20Warning%20Radar%22%20SSPARS&f=false. 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)" 
  3. Carter, Master Sgt. Austin; & Mattorano, Tech. Sgt. Gino, ed (2004). Space Command Almanac 2004-2005 (Report). HQ AFSPACECOMM Public Affairs. http://www.afspc.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-060316-011.pdf. 
  4. "Operations, Maintenance and Support for the Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS) at 5 Geographically Separated Units WorldWide". FedBizOpps.gov. https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=caf2eb4dbcca881980fb2e403a8e3194&_cview=0. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  5. http://www.geo.uzh.ch/microsite/rsl-documents/research/SARlab/GMTILiterature/PDF/Skolnik90.pdf
  6. Communications-Electronics (C-E) Managers Handbook (Report). http://nato.radioscanner.ru/files/article63/communications_elect.pdf. 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" 
  7. http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/pavepaws.htm
  8. http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/nssrm/initiatives/clearu.htm)
  9. Stocker, Jeremy (2004). Gray, Colin S. & Murray, Williamson. ed. Britain and Ballistic Missile Defence 1942-2002. Frank Cass. ISBN 0-203-30963-4. ISSN 1473-6403. http://sobchak.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/britain-and-ballistic-missile-1942-2002.pdf. 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" 
  10. 10.0 10.1 http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/facility/clear.htm
  11. "AN/FPS-120 Solid State Phased-Array System [SSPARS: Clear Radar Upgrade"]. GlobalSecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/sspars.htm. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  12. Orban, SSgt. Brian (February 1995). "The trip wire". 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 AFS, AK". GlobalSecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/facility/clear.htm. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  14. http://www.radomes.org/museum/equip/fps-115.html
  15. http://mostlymissiledefense.com/2013/08/07/u-s-to-sell-large-early-warning-radar-to-qatar-august-7-2013/
  16. "Fylingdales". Raytheon.co.uk. http://www.raytheon.co.uk/ourcompany/facilities/fylingdales/index.html. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 

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