Lockheed Martin has completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of the long-range discrimination radar (LRDR) programme designed to protect the US from ballistic missile threats.
Completed on schedule, the review has been completed in less than 18 months from the contract award in 2015.
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded the $784m contract to Lockheed Martin to develop, build and test the radar system that will support a layered ballistic missile defence strategy.
The LRDR is a solid-state gallium nitride-based, S-Band radar that is capable of discriminating threats at extreme distances, using the inherent wideband capability of the hardware coupled with advanced software algorithms, Lockheed stated.
It forms a part of the MDA's ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) and will provide acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to allow separate defence systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats.
Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors engineering and technology vice-president Tony DeSimone said: "We built an open non-proprietary architecture that allows incorporation of the algorithms from small businesses, labs and the government, to provide an advanced discrimination capability for homeland defence.”
During the two-day PDR, the LRDR demonstrated technology readiness level (TRL) 6 and manufacturing readiness level (MRL) 6.
Lockheed used a scaled LRDR system to demonstrate critical technology elements (CTEs) in a relevant end to end environment.
The long-range radar system is expected to demonstrate TRL 7 at the new Solid State Radar Integration Site later this year, following which the programme will transition to manufacturing.
Image: Artist’s concept of the Lockheed Martin's long-range discrimination radar (LRDR). Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.