PAW Prints In The PARC

The United States Air Force is expected to commence an important modernisation of three ballistic missile warning radar; namely the PAVE PAWS (Phased Array Warning System), the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterisation System (PARCS), and the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS).

All three of these systems have different, yet interconnected, tasks. BMEWS, which uses radar located inGreenland,AlaskaandNorthern England, provides NATO and the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with warnings of Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile attack. PARCS, which utilises a single AN/FPQ-16 phased-array radar based inNorth Dakotaperforms space surveillance monitors space, tracking earth-orbiting objects, and to detect ballistic missile attack. PARC’s data is then fed to the North American Air Defence Command inColorado. PAVE PAWS, which has radar systems located inMassachusetts,CaliforniaandAlaskafeeds radar imagery to US STRATCOM headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base inOmaha,Nebraska, providing warning and attack assessment for ICBM launches aimed at the continentalUnited States.

A Request for Information has been released to industry by theUSAFElectronicSystemsCenter. The upgrades will principally focus on modernising the front end of these radar, with the possibility of some improvements to radar processing should this be required by the front end modernisation. Moreover, further upgrade efforts are expected to commence in 2016 to improve the signal and data processing capabilities of these radar.

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