US Air Force extends its rugged weather radar capabilities

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The Digital Directorate of the United States Air Force Aerospace Management Systems recently announced that EWR Radar Systems has been awarded a US$21.5m indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract, providing Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for its Portable Doppler Radar program.

Work will be performed by EWR in St Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed by the start of October 2025. This contract is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

The new PDR CLS contract has a value of US$21,529,141 and began immediately upon the expiration of the Air Force’s previous CLS contract, also held by EWR. Under the contract, EWR will provide contractor logistics support for the Air Force’s 22 currently fielded Portable Doppler Weather Radar Systems (E700XD), as well as 27 newly procured units from a separate contract awarded to EWR earlier this year.

EWR noted that it has a proud heritage of supplying the United States Department of Defense with weather radar systems. Since it was founded in 1982, EWR has been an industry leader in portable X-band weather radar solutions.

Additionally, the company highlighted its long experience with such systems which provides it with a detailed understanding of what it takes to build a radar system that is compact and rugged and can handle the rigors of mobile and rapid deployment in some of the most hostile conditions.

This experience is a key contributing factor in the United States Department of Defense’s decision to make EWR its primary supplier of ground-based weather radar systems.

Notably, EWR has pioneered the use of solid-state transmitters in weather radar systems. Where other Doppler radars utilize tube transmitters (klystrons, magnetrons, TWTs, etc.) that require frequent maintenance, run at high voltages and are prone to failure in difficult environments such as those found in mobile applications, the E700 PDR uses a long-life solid-state transmitter which is virtually maintenance free and consumes far less power.

The E700 PDR Weather Radar System is in use today by the US Air Force Special Operations Command, the United States Marine Corps for its Meteorological Mobile Facility (METMF) Next Generation (NEXGEN) systems and by the US Air Force for its next generation PDR (Portable Doppler Radar) program.

In addition to EWR’s line of portable weather radar systems, it also provides large, fixed-based weather radars to a wide array of clients including utility companies, oil companies, municipalities, first-alert responders and foreign governments including those of South Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates.

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