U.S.A.F. Orders Northrop E-3 Sentry AWACS Surveillance Radars

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  • 08:16 AM, December 15, 2020
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U.S.A.F. Orders Northrop E-3 Sentry AWACS Surveillance Radars
E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced a $163.65 million contract to Northrop Grumman for APY-1/2 surveillance radar systems fitted on E-3 Sentry AWACS planes.

“Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded a $163.65 million requirements contract for the supply chain management of the APY-1/2 surveillance radar systems used on Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft. The contract provides for repairs, sustaining spares and engineering services relating to the APY-1/2 systems,” a U.S. DoD release said.

Work is expected to be completed September 9, 2028.

E-3 Sentry's AN/APY-1/2 Radar

The E-3 utilizes an AN/APY-1/2 Radar. It is a mechanically scanned system in horizontally and electronically scans vertically. It can provide a scan of over 200,000 square miles around the E-3 every 10 seconds.

The radar transmitters, computers and display stations are housed within the fuselage. The radome scans at six revolutions a minute. When the radar is not operating the radome rotation rate is set at one revolution every four minutes. The radar is multi-mode using powerful interleaving and de-interleaving algorithms.

The primary operational mode is “pulse Doppler non-elevation scan (PDNES) for surveillance of airborne target; pulse Doppler elevation scan (PDES) to determine the target elevation; beyond the horizon pulse radar mode; receive only mode for passive operation; maritime mode which uses very short pulse width for the detection of surface ships; and standby mode.”

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