The US Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) programme has completed delivery of the first ten antenna panels to Clear, AK, making up the first of the system’s two radar antenna arrays, contractor Lockheed Martin announced on 9 March.
With this delivery, all the panels that will house one of the radar’s two faces are at Clear, Chandra Marshall, Director of Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense and Space Surveillance Radar programmes confirmed in a media briefing. The company is in the process of installing the last set of panels for that array face. “Once we get the panels in place, which should be in the latter part of this month, we’ll start doing all of the ‘finishing work’ and probably starting in the May time frame, we should start to do some initial light-off and power-up tasks to make certain everything is functioning properly,” she stated.
LRDR has an inherent space situational awareness (SSA) capability to detect and track objects in space, taking advantage of technology advances in Lockheed Martin’s adjunct Space Fence programme. Marshall noted Lockheed Martin plans to expand LRDR’s SSA capability in the programme’s next software increment upgrade: the company continues to be in discussion with the US government on enhanced SSA package’s details.
Scaled versions of the LRDR technology will be used for future radar programmes, including AEGIS ASHORE JAPAN, recently designated AN/SPY-7(V)1, the Canadian Surface Combatant build and Spain’s F-110 frigate programme: “[…] all of the core technology from LRDR, including the radar facility, is being leveraged for AEGIS ASHORE JAPAN,” Marshall pointed out, adding that, beyond facilities supporting the land-based radar at Clear, “we’re scaling the rest of the technology suite to fit the naval-based application.”
She also confirmed Lockheed Martin remains on contract to design, develop and deliver another scaled-down version of LRDR – for MDA’s s Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii, to be based in Oahu, HI. She concluded, “we’re in production right now in Moorestown [New Jersey], and that is all I can say.”
Lockheed Martin’s key LRDR industry team mate is Haskell Corporation Davis Constructors Joint Venture.