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Next-Gen long-range surveillance radar demonstrations completed


Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR). Photo: Lockheed Martin.

NEW YORK (BNS): Lockheed Martin has successfully completed a capability demonstration in the latest phase of the US Air Force's development of the next-generation mobile, long-range surveillance and ballistic missile defense radar.

The Dec. 16-17 demonstration for the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) was the second and final required under a $25 million, 20-month technology development contract awarded in May 2009.

Lockheed Martin completed an initial demonstration of critical technology elements in March 2010 and an initial preliminary design review in October 2010.

The 3DELRR will serve as the principal long-range, ground-based sensor for detecting, identifying, tracking, and reporting aircraft and missiles for the Air Force.

The system will replace the Air Force’s AN/TPS-75 air surveillance radar. The Marines also are evaluating the system as a replacement for their AN/TPS-59 ballistic missile defense radar.

"We have applied both new technology advances and our knowledge gained from decades of experience developing and maintaining 178 long-range surveillance radars currently operational around the world," Mark Mekker, program director, was quoted as saying in the company news release.

During the demonstration, Lockheed Martin unveiled a functioning system prototype to Air Force and Marine Corps officials as proof of the radar's maturity. The radar’s design addresses 100 percent of 3DELRR requirements, including critical extended air surveillance reach for early warning from threats, such as aircraft and ballistic missiles, the release added.

The Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, which is leading the acquisition for 3DELRR, plans to award one contract by early 2012 to complete the 3DELRR technology development and engineering manufacturing development phases.

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