Lockheed Martin has received three contracts from the US Army to produce additional Q-53 radars and system upgrade capabilities to enable increased performance in the field.
The first contract is for the production of the third lot of 15 full-rate production systems. Following the delivery of these additional systems, the total number of Q-53 radars in the army’s inventory will increase to 189.
Lockheed Martin is also required to upgrade the radar with enhanced capabilities, including extended range and counter unmanned aerial system (CUAS) surveillance.
The upgrades are intended to support the growth of the system to be able to tackle aircraft, drone, and other threats in the future.
Lockheed Martin Q-53 programme director Rick Herodes said: “We realise the warfighter needs new and improved capabilities. The Q-53 represents a fast path to respond to current and emerging threats.
“The flexibility of the architecture continues to allow the Q-53 to provide capabilities far beyond the original mission and allows for additional upgrades in the future.”
The second contract will see the radar’s CUAS capability enhanced to enable simultaneous counterfire, CUAS, and air surveillance.
Lockheed Martin also won a contract to increase the operating range of the Q-53 radar. To achieve this, the company will use next-generation technology insertions already available in the radar.
Lockheed Martin produces the systems using gallium nitride (GaN) transmit-receive modules.
The technology can deliver additional power, reliability and the possibility for extended range, counterfire target acquisition (CTA) and multi-mission capabilities.
The army uses the Q-53 to offer greater protection to troops in a combat situation.
The radar, which is replacing the Army’s ageing AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 medium-range radars, can detect, classify, track, and identify the location of enemy indirect fire in either 90° or 360° modes.