The U.S. Air Force has approved Lockheed Martin’s preliminary design for its next-generation mobile, long-range surveillance and ballistic missile defense radar. The Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) will serve as the principal ground-based sensor for long-range detection, identification, tracking, and reporting of aircraft and missiles for both the Air Force and the Marine Corps.
The system will replace the Air Force’s AN/TPS-75 air search radar. The Marines are also evaluating the system as a replacement for its AN/TPS-59 ballistic missile defense radar.
“The new radar’s open architecture will allow it to easily adopt emerging technology, expanding the system’s viability well beyond the typical 20-year life of today’s sensor systems,” said Mark Mekker, director of Lockheed Martin’s ground-based surveillance radar. “In this budget environment, we are focused on providing the most-advanced, most-affordable solution to address customer requirements.”
The Air Force approved Lockheed Martin’s first capability demonstration of significant systems-level technology in March 2010. The company will conduct a second radar capability demonstration later this fall to prove that its design meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Defense’s stringent requirements for technology readiness.
The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $25 million, 20-month 3DELRR technology development contract in May 2009.
The Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, which is leading the acquisition for 3DELRR, has said it intends to award one contract by early 2012 to complete the 3DELRR technology development and engineering manufacturing development phase.
Once deployed, 3DELRR will be the primary ground-based sensor for the Air Force’s Joint Forces Air Component Commander through the Ground Theater Air Control System and the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Commander through the Marine Air Command and Control System.
Lockheed Martin is leveraging more than 40 years of experience developing and maintaining long-range surveillance radars. There are more than 170 Lockheed Martin systems currently operational around the globe – including the AN/TPS-59, AN/FPS-117 and AN/TPS-77. The radars operate in some of the harshest remote locations around the world, from the Arctic Circle to the jungles of the Amazon. None have ever been removed from service.