Raytheon is developing a new version of the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) that flies on the U-2 Dragon Lady high altitude reconnaissance aircraft under a $320 million undefinitized contract from the U.S. Air Force.
Equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna, ASARS-2B doubles the surveillance range while maintaining the mapping and imagery resolution of the current ASARS-2A system. ASARS-2B completed flight test at Edwards Air Force Base in California in early 2019.
“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 is a high-resolution, multimode, long-range, air-to-ground radar that provides operators with critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data. Capable of operating in all weather, day or night, ASARS detects and accurately locates fixed and moving ground targets with unprecedented precision.
Lockheed U-2, nicknamed “Dragon Lady”, is an American single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It provides day and night, high-altitude (70,000 feet; 21,000 m), all-weather intelligence gathering.