Raytheon to deliver more Silent Knight radars to USSOCOM

The Pentagon revealed on December 1 that it has awarded Raytheon Technologies a US$235.6m contract for the production and delivery of more Silent Knight radars to US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

The sole-source multi-year procurement contract will be completed by July 2025, with work being performed at Raytheon’s facilities in McKinney, Texas, and Forest, Mississippi. This deal follows the awarding of a US$96.6 contract in June 2019 for the initial production of the Silent Knight radar system for USSOCOM.

CV-22B [USAF/Trevor Cokley]
A US Air Force (USAF)-operated Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey tiltrotor flies over the USAF Academy in Colorado on November 6, 2020. The CV-22B will be equipped with Raytheon's AN/APQ-186 Silent Knight radar. USAF/Trevor Cokley

Raytheon’s AN/APQ-186 Silent Knight multi-mode radar is a derivative of the AN/APQ-174 that is intended to provide a terrain-following/terrain-avoidance (TF/TA) capability for a variety of military aircraft. USSOCOM intends to integrate the system onto its Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey, Boeing MH-47G Chinook, Lockheed Martin MC-130H Combat Talon II and Sikorsky MH-60M Black Hawk fleets.

The firm states that the multi-mode radar allows for safe flight down to 100ft at night, in adverse weather conditions and in high-threat environments. It adds that “it lowers the probability of detection by enemy forces and increases mission success through terrain masking and minimising time spent in threat range. It reduces [the] risk to aircrew and the aircraft by balancing the low-level terrain clearance altitude with flight safety considerations.”

Alongside its TF/TA capability, the AN/APQ-174/186 family also provides ground mapping, air-to-ground ranging, weather detection, beacon interrogation and low power/low velocity TF abilities.