Lockheed Martin delivers first panel of US MDA’s LRDR programme

Lockheed Martin has delivered the first radar panel of the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) to the Clear Air Force Station in Alaska.

The delivery of the panel from Lockheed Martin’s facility in Moorestown, New Jersey marks a key milestone for the LRDR programme.

The LRDR programme is central to the MDA’s defence strategy protecting the US from the threat of ballistic missiles

LRDR provides precision metric data to improve ballistic defence discrimination. The radar will replace existing sensors in the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

The programme completed testing in December last year and is set for delivery to the MDA next year.

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Lockheed Martin MDA Radars director, Chandra Marshall, said: “Completion of Technology Readiness Level 7 testing provided Lockheed Martin and the MDA customer confidence that the programme was ready to ramp up production of the radar.

“Lockheed Martin utilised production representative hardware, as well as tactical back end processing and software in our Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS) to successfully demonstrate system performance in an operational environment in 2018.”

The radar brings together solid state radar (SSR) technologies and ballistic missile defence algorithms. The system also employs open-source architecture to make future development easier.

Lockheed Martin Radar and Sensors Systems vice-president and general manager Dr. Rob Smith said: “Solid state radar is the cornerstone of our current and future radar development.”

The company will ship a total of 20 radar panels to Alaska in the coming months.

The panels will form the LRDR radar’s two antenna faces, each around four stories tall and wide.

Lockheed Martin stated that the installation and integration of the radar system will commence later this year.

The Alaska facility will house the LRDR radar system. The company added that the construction of the framework for the facility has been completed.