The preliminary design of Lockheed Martin’s next-generation mobile, long-range surveillance and ballistic missile defence radar has received approval from the US Air Force.

The 3D expeditionary long-range radar (3DELRR) will be used 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 and AN/TPS-59 ballistic missile defence radar used by the marines.

The 3DELRR will be the primary ground-based sensor for the air force’s joint forces air component commander through the ground theatre air control system.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $25m, 20-month 3DELRR technology development contract by the US Air Force in May 2009.