The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a nearly $36 million contract for the next part of its Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar program.
The 3DELRR is intended to serve as the principal long-range, ground-based sensor for detecting, identifying, tracking, and reporting aerial targets for the Air Force.
The system, which will replace the AN/TPS-75 air surveillance radar, will be capable of detecting new, emerging air defense threats and managing challenging battlefield air control scenarios out to extended ranges.
Under the Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Development (Pre-EMD) Period of the Technology Development Phase, the Air Force is expected to review industry trade studies to help set final radar requirements, conduct preliminary design reviews, and demonstrate radar system-level technology maturity. At the end of this 15-month phase, the Air Force is expected to award an EMD and low-rate production contract.
Lockheed Martin has 178 long-range radars operational around the world and has made significant investments to reduce risk and drive affordability for the 3DELRR program.
“We need to give battlefield commanders the most response time possible to detect and prosecute emerging threats. Only advanced technology long-range radar like 3DELRR can do that,” said Mark Mekker, director of ground-based surveillance radar for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “Our 3DELRR technology is mature, focused on not just performing now, but evolving and extending system life as required. We can offer that radar to the U.S. Air Force today.”
In December 2010, Lockheed Martin unveiled a functioning full-scale system prototype as proof of the radar’s maturity. At the time, the radar’s design addressed 100 percent of 3DELRR requirements, including critical extended air surveillance reach for early warning from threats, such as aircraft and ballistic missiles. This was the second and final demonstration required under a $25 million, 20-month technology development contract awarded in May 2009.
Work on the 3DELRR program is performed at the company’s Syracuse, N.Y. and Moorestown, N.J. facilities.