Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded a $163,650,543 requirements contract for the supply chain management of the APY-1/2 surveillance radar systems used on on E-3 Sentry AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft. The contract provides for repairs, sustaining spares and engineering services relating to the APY-1/2 systems. Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, and is expected to be completed Sept. 9, 2028. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2021 defense working capital funds are being used and no funds are being obligated at the time of the award. The U.S. Air Force Sustainment Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity (FA8524-21-D-0006).
The APY-1/APY-2 is the primary radar system of the E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS ) aircraft. The APY-2 includes a full maritime surveillance capability. The surveillance antenna is mounted back-to-back with an identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) antenna, and is contained in a saucer-shaped, 30-ft (9.14-m) diameter Loral-Randtron rotodome mounted on two struts that rest on a reinforcement ring buried in the rear fuselage. The radome scans at six revolutions a minute. When the radar is not operating the radome rotation rate is set at one revolution every four minutes. The radar is multi-mode using powerful interleaving and de-interleaving algorithms. It can provide a scan of over 200,000 square miles around the E-3 every 10 seconds.
Boeing, with the electronic sensors and systems division of Northrop Grumman as subcontractor, carried out an E-3 AWACS RSIP, which upgrades the capability of the AN/APY-1/2 against threats from small radar cross section targets, cruise missiles and electronic countermeasures. The main operating modes are: pulse Doppler non-elevation scan (PDNES) for surveillance of airborne targets; pulse Doppler elevation scan (PDES) to determine the target elevation; and maritime mode. The improvement in sensitivity against small and stealthy targets is achieved through the installation of a new surveillance radar computer (SRC) to replace the digital Doppler processor and radar correlator. RSIP installation was completed on the Nato (17) and UK (seven) aircraft in 2000, on France (four) in 2006 and on the 33 USAF E-3 AWACS in April 2005.
The Boeing E-3 Sentry, commonly known as AWACS, is an American airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Boeing. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control, and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force, NATO, Royal Air Force, French Air and Space Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force. The E-3 is distinguished by the distinctive rotating radar dome (rotodome) above the fuselage. Production ended in 1992 after 68 aircraft had been built. The first USAF E-3 was delivered in March 1977, and during the next seven years, a total of 34 aircraft were manufactured. NATO, as a single identity, also had 18 aircraft manufactured, basing them in Germany. The E-3 was also sold to the United Kingdom (seven) and France (four) and Saudi Arabia (five, plus eight E-3-derived tanker aircraft).