Navy’s 20-year old ATC analog radar system gets digital facelift

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. U.S. Navy officials procured two more Raytheon radar systems to replace obsolete analog air traffic control (ATC) systems with digital technology. Military bases at New River, N.C., and Quantico, Va., will get the new radar systems. This procurement is part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the Navy’s analog ATC radars.

he Digital Airport Surveillance (DASR) ASR-11 is a digital, solid-state radar and the first to be integrated in the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). The radars have been delivered to more than 130 sites throughout the world, and will eventually reach more than 150 sites total.

The ASR-11 enables primary surveillance radar coverage as far as 60 miles and secondary surveillance radar coverage as far as 120 miles. It enables air traffic controllers to have improved aircraft detection, lower support costs, and a better weather display. The primary radar is being produced in Waterloo, Canada, while the secondary radar will be manufactured in the U.S. and United Kingdom.

radars are continuing to be replaced as part of the NAS Modernization Program, which upgrades legacy systems with modern digital technology to enable the Navy to keep pace with changing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines and standards for terminal radar approach controls.

The is also a part of 's Mobile Air Traffic Control system, which enables critical air traffic services when existing infrastructure are damaged or do not exist.