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US approves Egyptian request for air defence radars

A still from an Egyptian military video shows one of the EADC's SPS-48 fixed-site radars under a protective dome. (Egyptian Ministry of Defence )

The US State Department has approved the sale of three L3Harris SPS-48 land-based radars (LBRs) to Egypt for an estimated USD355 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 25 January.

Egypt already operates the LBR version of the radar, having bought six AN/SPS-48Es in the 2000s.

The radar was originally developed as a naval air surveillance radar in the 1960s, with the upgraded AN/SPS-48G version now installed on US Navy aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. The new version significantly improves the system's reliability and maintainability, while reducing lifecycle costs and obsolescence issues.

L3Harris says the AN/SPS-48G is also available as a fixed or mobile land system, saying it provides excellent jamming immunity, low false alarm rates, and the ability to detect and track extremely small targets.

The DSCA indicated that that the proposed sale included upgrades for the SPS-48s Egypt already has in service, saying it covered obsolescence replacements for processors, track-management systems, communications equipment, generators, and transmitter control units for fielded systems, in addition to updating their built-in testing (BIT) systems and overhauling their antennas.

The AN/SPS-48G upgrade includes an improved BIT that allows for far simpler performance-based maintenance and enables remote monitoring of the radar's performance.

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