Exelis to build and install new COTS precision-approach radar systems for military airfields

LAKEHURST, N.J. 16 May 2016. U.S. military air traffic control experts needed a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) precision-approach radar to replace the AN-FPN-63(V) radar for air traffic control. They found their solution from Exelis Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Harris Corp. in Van Nuys, Calif.

May 16th, 2016
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LAKEHURST, N.J. 16 May 2016. U.S. military air traffic control experts needed a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) precision-approach radar to replace the AN-FPN-63(V) radar for air traffic control. They found their solution from Exelis Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Harris Corp. in Van Nuys, Calif.

Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, N.J., announced a $70.3 million contract to Exelis on Wednesday to provide 42 COTS precision-approach radar systems. Of these COTS radar systems, 21 are for the U.S. Army, 16 are for the Navy, and five are for the U.S. Air Force.

The AN/FPN-63(V) precision-approach radar helps military aircraft land at airfields during bad weather. It provides talk-down capabilities to land military and civil aircraft, and works together with airport surveillance radar ground control approach capability for military and civilian aircraft.

The AN/FPN-63(V) provides azimuth, elevation, and range to touchdown on the operator’s console. Air traffic controllers use this information of glide slope and center line deviation to guide the pilot for a precision instrument landing.

The AN/FPN-63(V) precision-approach radar has been in use by the U.S. Navy since about 1978, and the system is nearing the end of its useful life, Navy officials say. This old system also has become difficult to maintain.

Related: Harris Corp. to acquire Exelis for $4.75 billion; combined company to make $8 billion annually

Exelis will provide a COTS precision-approach radar that will perform radar approach and instrument landing system (ILS) functions that also can replace stand-alone ILS systems at military airfields.

Exelis designs precision approach landing radar systems with solid-state gallium arsenide transmit/receive modules; modular open-systems architectures; that operate in bad weather; have three-level weather displays; can change of runways in less than a minute; offer remote-control options; use COTS processors; are available in fixed, transportable, and mobile configurations; offer built-in-test (BIT) monitoring; and use GPS time synchronization.

Among the Exelis COTS precision-approach radar systems are the PAR-2000/AN/FPN-68; GCA-2000; AN/MPN-25; and PAR-Tactical. The PAR-2000/AN/FPN-68 is a precision approach radar to help aircraft land in bad weather.

The GCA-2000 adds an airport surveillance and secondary surveillance radar capability. The AN/MPN-25 is a GCA-2000 repackaged into a mobile integrated airport surveillance radar and secondary surveillance radar. The PAR-tactical is a fully mobile precision-approach radar based on the Exelis PAR-2000/AN/FPN-68.

Related: Exelis chosen to provide air traffic control system for Saudi national guard base

From Exelis military experts want a precision-approach radar that can service at least eight runway approaches reconfigures from one approach to another in less than five minutes. The system must provide for ground-controlled approaches to 100 feet altitude and one-quarter mile from touchdown point.

The system must be able to operate in temperatures from zero to 122 degrees Fahrenheit per MIL-STD-810G, at altitudes from -100 to 10,000 feet, and in 65-knot winds.

The contract also asks Exelis to provide uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for the precision-approach radar systems, as well as training and ancillary installation support.

On this contract Exelis will do the work in Van Nuys, Calif., and should be finished by May 2021. For more information contact Exelis online at www.exelisinc.com, or the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division-Lakehurst at www.navair.navy.mil.

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