Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to demonstrate technologies for the US Air Force’s (USAF) next-generation Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) programme.

Valued at $34.7m, the pre-engineering and manufacturing development (pre-EMD) award will involve continued technological development, preliminary design review (PDR), as well as prototype capability demonstration of the company’s offering for 15 months.

Derived from its active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology, Northrop’s 3DELRR offering is a highly mobile, affordable and reliable radar system designed to provide USAF with new advanced capabilities for air defence missions.

Jeff Palombo, Northrop Grumman Land and Self Protection Systems division vice president and general manager, said the company will help the USAF achieve substantial cost savings throughout the programme’s life cycle.

Designed to replace the USAF’s currently used AN/TPS-75 radar, the 3DELRR will be the principal long-range, ground-based sensor for detecting, identifying, tracking, and reporting aircraft and missiles in support of theatre commanders.

The USAF had decided to revise the 3DELRR acquisition strategy by awarding three technology development (TD) or pre-EMD phase contracts, instead of one, as set forth by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L)) in 2007.

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Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) have also received $39m and $35.1m contracts, respectively.

Image: A conceptual design of the USAF’s 3DELRR, which will replace the existing AN/TPS-75 radar system. Photo: courtesy of Hanscom Air Force Base.