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Defence Projects

Airborne Stand-off Radar (ASTOR)


First UK-built Sentinel R Mk 1 Aircraft departs for US

The Airborne Stand-off Radar (ASTOR) is a new British capability for operations over and around the battlefield. It is to form the UK equivalent to the US E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS). ASTOR is to provide a long-range all-weather theatre surveillance and target acquisition system capable of detecting moving, fixed and static targets. It is designed to meet a joint Army and RAF requirement. The production contract was signed by Raytheon Systems in December 1999 for the supply of five air-platforms, eight ground stations, and contractor logistic support. The principal elements of ASTOR are the Bombardier Global Express aircraft, to be know as Sentinel R1 in RAF service, and the Raytheon ASARS-2 side looking airborne radar used on the U-2.

Raytheon Systems is the Prime contractor, working with Bombardier Aerospace, L-3 Communications, Messier Dowty, Lucas Aerospace and AgustaWestland.

Sentinel R1 - ASTOR Aircraft - low pass at Broughton

RADAR

The radar operates at high altitude and in all weathers to provide high resolution. ASARS-2 has been reported to provide images of the battlefield at ranges of 160 km, at altitudes up to 47,000 feet. High speed data links transfer the data from aircraft to ground stations in near real time.

The system has directional and broadcast data links which are interoperable with existing US U-2Rs, JSTARS and command and control networks. The first aircraft were received by No 5 (AC) Squadron in early 2007. The main ASTOR operating centre will be based at RAF Waddington in the UK. The projected procurement cost is just over 1bn.

Sentinel R1 - ASTOR Specifications

Crew

2 aircrew - 3 mission systems operators

Length

30.3m

Wingspan

28.6m

Height

7.57m

Empty Weight

22,817kg

Max Take-Off Weight

43,094kg

Range

6,500nm/12,000km

Endurance

14+ hours

Operating altitude

15,000m

Engines

2 x RR BR710

Systems

ASARS-2 radar derivative

Narrowband datalink subsystem (NDLS), wideband data link based on Common Data Link (CDL)

Defensive Aids Subsystem (DASS)

Developed for the Nimrod MRA4, including missile warning system, radar warning receiver, towed radar decoy and chaff and flare dispensers

COMMERCIAL ASPECTS

ASTOR will provide British industry with valuable high-technology work. The company estimates that the project will create or sustain around 2,500 jobs in the UK. This not only safeguards jobs but also provides high value export potential, ensuring, the UK remains at the forefront of defence technology.

Photo Copyright Raytheon Company

COMPANIES INVOLVED WITH THIS PROJECT


SELEX GALILEO - SOSTAR-X (Stand-off Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar) developed with Thales/ EADS/ Dutch Space/ Indra for the NATO AGS programme.

WELCONSTRUCT CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS -
Welconstruct provided workspace solutions to meet the customer's constantly changing work environment.

TRAC - EMC and Tempest Testing

JRA AEROSPACE LTD - ADCT Support

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