The U.S. Air Force has ordered four of the new 3DELRR (3 Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar) systems for about $18 million each. These will begin replacing the 32 existing AN/TPS-75s, a 1960s design that, while frequently upgraded, is showing its age. Both of these radars are “expeditionary models” used when the air force must quickly send aircraft overseas to establish a new base. Naturally an airbase needs a good radar system and since the late 1960s the AN/TPS-75 has been used for these quick deployment type missions. The first 3DELRR is expected to be in service before the end of the decade and eventually the air force is seeking to buy 35 of them.
There was a competition between the 3DELRR and an AN/TPS-75 design that was massively updated with the latest technology. The 3DELRR won in part because of its ability to easily integrate with other (especially foreign) radar systems while also delivering higher and more reliable performance. The 3DELRR is easily transportable by air and weighs less than seven tons (control center, antenna, power generator). 3DELRR can be set up quickly (less than two hours) and provide long range (over 440 kilometers) detection of aircraft and incoming missiles at altitudes over 30 kilometers.