Tim Ripley

Yesterday's success for the Raytheon airborne stand-off radar (ASTOR) bid will provide a major boost for its 18 partners as they push to get the revolutionary system into operation over the next six years.

At the centre of the programme is Raytheon System (RSL), the UK subsidiary of the US defence electronics and missile giant.

As prime contractor it will oversee the $1.3-billion contract, which will involve some 2,548 people at several sites in the UK at its peak.

ASTOR's ASARS-2 dual mode radar is being provided by Raytheon Systems at El Segundo in the USA, with Marconi Radar at Edinburgh bringing its antenna technology to the project.

Marconi Avionics is also a hot contender to provide the defensive countermeasures suite to protect the aircraft from hostile threats, but this aspect of the programme has not been confirmed yet.

The ground segment of ASTOR is the responsibility of Motorola UK and the high-technology control centre is to be installed by Marshall Specialist Vehicles in an Austrian-made Steyr Pinzgauer 6x6 cross-country truck.

A key component of ASTOR is its ability to ship huge quantities of intelligence data around the battlefield, via data links provided by Ultra Electronics and L3 Communications


RSL and its team members are to set up and run an integrated logistic support network, centred at Broughton near Chester, UK. A main operating and training base is also to be set up at RAF Waddington in the UK, with substantial contractor involvement.

Other team members include Archer Communications, BAe (BASE), Data Services, DERA, ITT Avionics, John Mowlem, Lucas Aerospace, Matra Marconi Space, Meggit, Racal Thorn, Sun Microsystems UK, Telephonics UK and W Vinten.

Source: Flight Daily News