Radar from Raytheon said to double U-2 surveillance range for USAF

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Raytheon is working on development of a new version of the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that flies on the U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft, under the terms of a $320 million undefinitized contract from the U.S. Air Force.

The new version of the radar, called ASARS-B, is equipped with an active electronically scanned array antenna and is aimed at doubling the radar's surveillance range while maintaining the mapping and imagery resolution of the current ASARS-2A system. Raytheon officials say that ASARS-2B is a high-resolution, multimode, long-range, air-to-ground radar that gives operators critical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data; can operate in all weather and any daypart; and can detect and locate fixed and moving targets on the ground.

"ASARS-2B allows the Dragon Lady to see further than ever before," said Eric Ditmars, vice president of Raytheon Secure Sensor Solutions. "That kind of range is crucial for commanders to achieve decision superiority -- and it ensures that the U-2 remains a preferred option for manned airborne surveillance operations."

ASARS-2B completed its flight test at Edwards Air Force Base in California in early 2019.