The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject
. (November 2015)
ZMAR concept sketch, 1962
An aerial view of the three domes of the Multifunction Array Radar prototype, surrounded by a clutter fence
, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Sketch of the FLAT TWIN antiballistic missile radar
Bell Labs proposed replacing the Nike Zeus radars with a phased array system in 1960, and was given the go-ahead for development in June 1961. The result was the Zeus Multi-function Array Radar (ZMAR), an early example of an active electronically steered array radar system. ZMAR became MAR when the Zeus program ended in favor of the Nike-X system in 1963. The MAR (Multi-function Array Radar) was made of a large number of small antennas, each one connected to a separate computer-controlled transmitter or receiver. Using a variety of beamforming and signal processing steps, a single MAR was able to perform long-distance detection, track generation, discrimination of warheads from decoys, and tracking of the outbound interceptor missiles. MAR allowed the entire battle over a wide space to be controlled from a single site. Each MAR, and its associated battle center, would process tracks for hundreds of targets. The system would then select the most appropriate battery for each one, and hand off particular targets for them to attack. One battery would normally be associated with the MAR, while others would be distributed around it. Remote batteries were equipped with a much simpler radar whose primary purpose was to track the outgoing Sprint missiles before they became visible to the potentially distant MAR. These smaller Missile Site Radars (MSR) were passively scanned, forming only a single beam instead of the MAR's multiple beams.
The first Soviet APAR, the 5N65, was developed in 1963-1965 as a part of the S-225 ABM system. After some modifications in the system concept in 1967 it was built at Sary Shagan Test Range in 1970-1971 and nicknamed Flat Twin in the West. Four years later another radar of this design was built on Kura Test Range, while the S-225 system was never commissioned.
US based manufacturers of the AESA radars used in the F-22 and Super Hornet include Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. These companies also design, develop and manufacture the transmit/receive modules which comprise the 'building blocks' of an AESA radar. The requisite electronics technology was developed in-house via Department of Defense research programs such as MMIC Program.