Tim Ripley/DUBAI

The technology at the heart of the $1.3 billion UK's Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) is up for export and Middle East countries are being offered it first.

Raytheon is at the show fresh from its ASTOR triumph earlier this year with its Ground Surveillance Radar System (GSARS) ­ its first showing outside Europe. The system offers total control of wide-area surveillance data, and is described by the company's UK-based subsidiary, Raytheon Systems (RSL), as the "most advanced system of its type in the world."

RSL has brought a 6x6 Tactical Ground Station to Dubai to demonstrate the high resolution imagery that can be obtained from the GSARS's dual-mode, synthetic aperture and moving target indicator radar. The vehicle, equipped with two sets of workstations, is located at EO2 in the outside exhibition area.


Peter Robbie, RSL's director of business development for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, says that GSAR's had a similar capability to the UK's ASTOR. "In a region such as the Middle East GSARS has got to be of value because of the vast area it can cover," he says. "Where you have small forces, GSARS is a force multiplier. Also for small armed forces, the five-man airborne crew is a realistic manning requirement. GSARS gives total ownership and total control over information which is supplied from wide area surveillance. It makes the owners of GSARS the masters of their own environment, so they do not have to rely on other people to supply information."

GSARS utilises the Bombardier Global Express new-generation business jet, (also on display at Dubai 2000), and an enhanced version of Raytheon's well-proven dual-mode ASAR2 radar. GSARS provides 24-hour, all-weather surveillance and target acquisition capability. The near real-time ground surveillance imagery can be exploited on board the aircraft and then passed to aircraft or to other military systems to allow quick and accurate decisions to be made to counter any threat.

<li> Robbie says that the UK Ministry of Defence is to sign its ASTOR contract with RSL on 17 December and shortly afterwards contracts with subcontractors would be signed.

Source: Flight Daily News