Raytheon Missiles & Defense has received a $2.3bn contract for the production of seven gallium nitride (GaN)-based AN/TPY-2 radars.

The radars are being produced as part of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

The contract has been awarded by the US Missile Defense Agency and is part of the US’s foreign military sale (FMS) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Using X-band, the mobile missile defence radar provides personnel with an accurate vision of ballistic missile threats.

The radar system operates in two modes comprising forward-based mode and terminal mode. It forms part of the THAAD system designed to protect the army against incoming ballistic missile threats.

The forward-based detects ballistic missiles and identifies any lethal objects, while the terminal mode guides interceptors toward a descending missile’s warhead.

To date, 14 AN/TPY-2 radars have been produced.

Out of these, seven are fielded as a part of US operated THAAD systems with five operating in forward-based mode for the US and the remaining two are for the FMS.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense Strategic Missile Defense vice-president Bryan Rosselli said: “These highly capable X-band radars are the sharpest eyes in the global missile defence system.

“The addition of GaN technology delivers capability for threats to be detected, tracked and discriminated with improved radar reliability.”

In March this year, Raytheon tested the first radar antenna array for the US Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) radar.