RACR employs active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology, which Raytheon pioneered for the U.S. Air Force's F-15C and fielded in December 2000. RACR incorporates the latest developments in AESA radar, in a design specifically suited for smaller aircraft such as the F-16.
Raytheon AESA technology is currently flown on a wide range of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and international customer platforms. AESA radars allow pilots to acquire targets at much greater distances, and track many more targets simultaneously, than traditional mechanically scanned array systems.
"Raytheon AESA radars are the only combat proven AESA radars currently in production. They have logged more operational flight hours and have the largest installed customer base of any AESA system in the world," said Mark Kula, vice president of Tactical Airborne Systems for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. "RACR leverages Raytheon's industry-leading AESA technology for a cost-effective, highly reliable system that has been successfully flight tested on the F-16 platform."
Key advantages of Raytheon AESA technology include:
Increased overall radar performance
The ability to conduct simultaneous air-to-air and air-to-ground missions
More effective tracking of widely spaced targets
Raytheon's AESA radar systems also offer unique savings due to their low required maintenance costs.
"Based on 250,000 operational flights hours, we know that Raytheon AESA radars require roughly one-tenth the maintenance expenditures that traditional mechanical arrays require," said Jim Hvizd, vice president of International Strategy and Business Development for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. "We will work closely with the Republic of Korea to make sure our RACR solution best meets their combat radar upgrade needs, within cost and schedule requirements."