Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) has carried out a closed loop satellite track demonstration in an operational environment.

This represents a technical milestone for the programme, as the company expects to make the delivery to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in 2020 at its site in Clear, Alaska, US.

The contract was awarded in 2015. Lockheed Martin is preparing to commence full-rate manufacturing from next year.

As part of the preparations, the company used production hardware, tactical backend processing equipment, as well as tactical software to demonstrate the system’s performance.

The company carried out the demonstration, including several tests at the company’s Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS) in Moorestown, New Jersey, US. The results showed the significant maturity of the programme.

“We have designed and produced a scaled LRDR system that is running with the actual tactical processing equipment and tactical software successfully.”

Lockheed Martin invested in SSRIS in order to meet the deadline for the delivery. The company noted that the SSRIS is a scaled version of the final LRDR radar.

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Lockheed Martin LRDR programme director Chandra Marshall said: “We have designed and produced a scaled LRDR system that is running with the actual tactical processing equipment and tactical software successfully.

“Demonstrations executed to date prove that Lockheed Martin has designed a solid state radar system that is on schedule to deliver on time and is on track to achieve its mission to defend the homeland.”

Construction of the radar commenced in Alaska following the completion of a critical design review last year.

MDA will use the radar system as a critical sensor to protect the US from ballistic missile threats. The agency will use the round-the-clock acquisition, tracking and discrimination data provided by LRDR to enable defence systems to engage ballistic missile threats.