The U.S. Air Force announced a $413 million contract to Raytheon to support Taiwan Surveillance Radar Program.
“This contract provides contractor logistics support, engineering services, technical updates, spare parts, and other related elements of logistical and program support under the Taiwan Surveillance Radar Program,” the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement today.
Work will be performed in Taiwan and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2027.
In September, Taiwan’s defense ministry was seeking NT$16.6 billion ($541 million) over the next five years to maintain and support its long-range early warning radar system, which the ministry said effectively tracked Chinese Dongfeng missiles fired over the island a month earlier.
The ministry said the funds were to maintain the operational performance of the Air Force’s Leshan radar station in Hsinchu county, northern Taiwan. This radar was built to track missiles, drones and ships and other movements of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The proposed spending is in line with a planned $1.1 billion arms package the Pentagon announced for sale to Taiwan.
“It (Leshan radar) is highly important not only in giving Taiwan much-needed early warning time in countering missile attacks from the enemy, but also necessary PLA movement information to the U.S.,” a source was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post few months ago.
Lin Ying-yu, an assistant professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, said the system had been up and running for close to a decade and a range of upgrades would be needed, including increasing the system’s computing speed, the number of targets it could simultaneously track and ability to link with other systems.
Built by Raytheon in 2003, the $1.4 billion Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System (Pave Paws), has been fully operational since 2013. Located at an altitude of 2,600m, the giant radar system can detect a missile launched from as far away as 5,000km and track projectiles in motion in great detail, even from a distance of 2,000km – a range that covers mainland China, the South China Sea as well as North Korea.