Defense

August 26, 2013

Long-range radar program heading to next phase

Patty Welsh
Hanscom AFB, Mass.

A program office here working to provide warfighters with a new ground-based, long-range radar system is ready to move forward after the completion of recent prototype demonstrations.

The Theater Battle Control Division’s Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar, or 3DELRR, program office recently evaluated three prototype capability demonstrations during the pre-engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program.

3DELRR will detect, identify and track fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and will replace the decades-old TPS-75 radar as the principal Air Force long-range, ground-based sensor. During the demonstrations, each of the current technology demonstration phase contractors held a day-long event to showcase a functioning full-scale, operational, long-range air surveillance system prototype.

“These demonstrations were the final contract activities for the twelve-month pre-engineering manufacturing and development period of 3DELRR’s TD phase,” said Suzanne Farrell, deputy program manager. “They gave the program office the opportunity to evaluate each contractor’s initial design and validate compliance with 3DELRR requirements.”

The prototypes needed to demonstrate a mature state of system development and the outcome of risk-reduction efforts. Some elements showcased included a full-scale antenna structure, signal and data processing, and data display to show radar output. Live demonstrations included the prototypes detecting and tracking targets of opportunity from nearby airports, which stakeholders were able to observe either in person or via live-feed webcasts.

“From a program management perspective, we have three very strong competitors with three independent designs, so it’s good to have that competition as we go into the next phase,” said Farrell.

The prototypes also had to exhibit functional modularity, net-centricity and scalability.

Other critical technology elements of the designs were provided by the contractors during demonstrations to an independent technology readiness assessment team in order to ensure they meet the technology readiness level, or TRL, of 6. TRL 6 includes engineering feasibility fully demonstrated in actual system application and is needed to move on to EMD.

“This is important to bring down technology risk,” said Kevin Ray, 3DELRR chief engineer.

From here, the program office will move into a limited sources competition. A request for proposal for EMD with an option for low-rate initial production is anticipated to be released prior to the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

The limited competition is a change from the originally anticipated full and open competition. Following market research, it was found that no other interested offerors have the ability to provide the necessary capabilities. Therefore, with an approved limited competition justification and approval in place, the Air Force will competitively select one of the three current contractors – Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman or Raytheon – to complete their 3DELRR design in the EMD phase.

“Following extensive market research, we pursued the strategy change to limit the competition in order to make our source selection more efficient,” said Elizabeth D’Amato, contracting officer.

Contract award is anticipated to be in the middle of fiscal 2014.

“The 3DELRR team has worked tirelessly to get to this critical point in the program,” said Farrell. “We are ready to move forward into the next phase where we select a contractor to complete the design and begin manufacturing this much-needed future war fighting capability.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Arc-heated facilities at AEDC offer unique test capabilities for hypersonic programs

Air Force photograph This photo shows the arc heater H3 being test fired prior to the installation of a model injection system. The AEDC High Temperature Materials Characterization and Evaluation is unique in capability and is ...
 

 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy commemorates C-2 Greyhound’s 50th anniversary of first flight

Navy photograph Nov. 18 marked the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Navy’s C-2A Greyhound. The “workhorse” of the fleet took to the skies Nov. 18, 1964, from Bethpage, N.Y.   For nearly 50 years, the C-2A ...
 
 

Air Force announces criteria for KC-46A Reserve basing

After extensive internal review, the Air Force on Nov. 9, released the basing criteria that will be used to select candidate bases for the first Reserve-led KC-46A main operating base. The KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal year 2019. The basing criteria under consideration include mission...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis

The footprint of the Jolly Green Giant

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis Airmen from the 56th Rescue Squadron tackle Capt. Robert Smith, 56th Rescue Squadron executive officer, after his fini-flight, or final flight, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, N...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>