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.


 
 

 
Army photograph by Marie Berberea

Sill simulator trains Stinger crews

Army photograph by Marie Berberea Army National Guardsmen Spec. Gabe Lindley of North Dakota holds a Man-Portable Air Defense System while Spc. Stephen Shafer from Ohio points to a possible enemy aircraft. The two trained Aug. ...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

AEDC and AFRL collaborate to make advances in hypersonic technology

Air Force photograph by Mike Smith As part of the U.S.-German cooperative program known as Hypersonic International Flight Experimentation, an integrated aerodynamic and aerothermal test and analysis of a hypersonic cruise vehi...
 
 

Minuteman III rocket motor aging surveillance test completed at AEDC

Arnold Engineering Development Complex personnel completed testing of a Minuteman III Stage II motor in the Complex’s J-6 Large Rocket Test Facility for aging surveillance of the 48-year-old defense program. “The Stage II motor is part of the Minuteman III Aging and Surveillance test program to obtain motor performance data that is used to identify...
 

 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 
 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 
C130b

C-130 Hercules still going strong at 60

Air Force photograph The C-130H Hercules dons the new eight-blade NP-2000 propellers. The 418th Flight Test Squadron replaced the C-130H Hercules’ four-bladed propellers with the eight-bladed propellers in 2008 in support...
 




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>