US Air Force to upgrade radar system in Lääne-Viru County

Kellavere radar.
Kellavere radar. Source: Rene Kundla/ ERR

The United States Air Force (USAF) is planning to upgrade their mid-range air search radar system, located in Lääne-Viru County. Discussions with the Ministry of Defense are ongoing.

"The USAF is getting ready to award [arms company] Lockheed Martin a contract for the upgrade of Republic of Estonia's AN/TPS-77 radars," the air force announced on social media.

Lockheed Martin will upgrade the radars with gallium nitride based digital array row transceivers, which combine row transmitters and receivers into a single line-replaceable unit (LRU), the force added in their announcement.

The announcement was also confirmed by the Estonian Ministry of Defense. "We can confirm that the U.S. government is planning on financing the upgrade of the TPS-77 radar system as part of the IAMD project, but specific circumstances and sums are still in the discussion phase," the ministry's spokesperson Susan Lilleväli said. The IAMD project is a medium-range air defense system project in the Baltics, financed by the U.S. government.

Lilleväli noted, however, that the planned upgrades are not connected to plans of adding more radars to northeastern Estonia to allow for more wind turbines. "The technological upgrades being discussed with the United States are not related to compensation measures of the Estonian government, which help free parts of Virumaa to develop wind energy," the ministry spokesperson said.

Lockheed Martin's TPS-77 radar is located in Vinni municipality in Lääne-Viru County. The radar can determine objects up to 470 km away and 30 km high.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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