Cobra Judy Replacement radars almost ready for strategic deployment

Raytheon reports that the Cobra Judy Replacement (CJR) program surpassed expectations during its first tests against a live rocket launch on March 19. From approximately 100 miles off the Florida coast, X- and S-band radars integrated onboard the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen successfully acquired and tracked both stages of an Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral and collected all associated data.

The demonstration keeps the program on schedule toward Initial Operational Capability in January 2014.

"CJR continues to excel at each stage of development and testing – no small feat for a new program with its level of scale and complexity," said Navy CAPT Rod Wester, CJR program manager, Program Executive Office – Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS 2I), in a Raytheon press release. "The performance of the radars and the platform as a whole has been outstanding."

The CJR program is a strategic, global asset to provide the government with long-loiter ballistic missile data collection capability in support of international treaty verification. The large-scale, complex dual-band radar suite of CJR consists of X- and S-band phased-array sensors, a common radar suite controller and other related mission equipment. Each antenna is approximately four stories tall and weighs more than 500,000 pounds.

Raytheon is the prime contractor for the CJR mission equipment and principal on an industry team that includes Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.

The latest live-launch exercise follows two other program milestones from late 2012: the demonstration of full-power radiation capability of the high-sensitivity shipboard X- and S-band radars; and the successful dual-band acquisition and tracking of satellites under the control of the CJR common radar suite controller.

CJR replaces the original Cobra Judy, USNS Observation Island, also developed by Raytheon and in service since 1981. CJR is planned to enter service in January 2014; the Navy will take delivery of CJR and transfer to the Air Force for operational ownership.

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