Not Your Father’s Radar

Airmen at Thule AB, Greenland, on the night of June 23 into the morning of June 24, completed the first shift with the upgraded early warning radar there equipped with new software that makes it better able to support the global ballistic missile defense architecture that protects the US and its allies. Thule’s UEWR is the third of its type to complete this upgrade, following the UEWR at Beale AFB, Calif., and the one at RAF Fylingdales, Britain. The upgraded radars retain their inherent missile warning capability, but now are much more robust in supporting the BMD mission and conducting space surveillance. In addition to the new software, the upgrade package included color flat-screen computers, computer mice, and increased computer memory and computing speed. “This is not your father’s missile warning system,” said Capt. William Weiford, a member of Thule’s 12th Space Warning Squadron who was one of three airmen in the historic first shift. He added, “the user interface is much more user friendly.” The upgrades at Thule took nearly two years. For the next few months, the Thule UEWR will undergo a trial period. (Thule report by 1st Lt. Lisa Meiman)