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Raytheon awarded sole support contract for COBRA DANE radar

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center recently awarded a two-year sole source contract to Raytheon for radar maintenance at Shemya, Alaska.

Worth $77 million, the contract covers operations, maintenance and sustainment support for COBRA DANE, one of the largest radars in the Air Force's inventory.  The contract awarded on Dec. 18, 2015 will provide intelligence, information and services and began Jan. 1. 2016.

The contract vertically integrates multiple sustainment activities under a single integrating contractor to achieve effective use of performance-based logistics, improving visibility into system costs and risks. 

"The new contract will allow the program office to modernize processes, allowing effective government oversight of the radar's health through the remainder of its lifetime," said Maj. Daniel Barker, COBRA DANE program manager.

The contract specifies a thorough analysis of the radar system be completed to meet new, streamlined performance goals and to control costs. This analysis includes the development and execution of a cohesive sustainment plan to stabilize long-term supportability and resolve the issue of diminishing availability of spare parts.

The COBRA DANE program management office at Peterson AFB will manage the improvement of operations, maintenance and sustainment services for the duration of the contract. 

COBRA DANE provides coverage for U.S. Strategic Command's Ballistic Missile Defense System by accurately detecting sea-launched and intercontinental ballistic missiles, classifying re-entry vehicles and other missile objects and tracking threats. It also supports the space situational awareness mission by detecting, tracking, correlating, and characterizing space objects such as satellites, in low-Earth orbit, space debris and early observation of new foreign launches.

"This contract gives us the basic tools to continue supporting our combatant commander's requirements of tracking small objects that threaten our assets in space and missile defense data to help shield our country from strategic attack," Barker said. 

The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency transferred mission responsibility of COBRA DANE to Air Force Space Command in April 2013. The Strategic Warning & Surveillance Systems Division under AFLCMC assumed full program management responsibility for sustainment and contracted operations in March 2015. AFLCMC received direction from Air Force Space Command to vertically integrate the multiple existing contracts previously used to support all levels of COBRA DANE maintenance and sustainment.

Built in the 1970s to serve as an early warning system during the Cold War, the COBRA DANE radar stands 120 feet tall, has a 95-foot diameter array face and is capable of detecting objects 2,000 miles away.

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