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A multifunction phased array radar must search and track suspicious targets in its surveillance space in a real-time fashion. With inefficient scheduling implementations in many traditional systems, much radar resource is wasted with a very limited performance gain. This paper targets one of the most important issues in the design of modern phased array radars: real-time dwell scheduling. We formalize the typical workload of a modern phased array radar and propose a rate-based approach to schedule radar dwells in a real-time fashion. We show how to reserve radar resources to guarantee the minimum radar operation without sacrificing the stability of the system. The strength of our approach is verified by a series of simulation experiments based on a real phased array radar for air defense frigates [A. G. Huizing et al. (1996)]. A significant improvement in the performance of phased array radars was shown.