Lockheed Martin‘s AN / TPQ-53 counterfire radar has successfully identified and tracked unmanned aerial systems (UAS) during the the US Army’s Maneuver and Fires Integration Experiment (MFIX).

In a demonstration, the radar identified and tracked several UASs, and provided information to Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control.

The solid-state phased array radar system also supplied accurate targeting data on rockets, artillery and mortars.

Lockheed Martin Q-53 programme director Rick Herodes said: "The demonstration showed that the Q-53 radar can provide soldiers in combat real time awareness of air threats.

"The inherent flexibility of the Q-53’s active electronically scanned array (AESA) hardware architecture allows us to constantly evolve the Q-53’s software to deal with emerging threats. This demonstration provided further verification that the Q-53 enables the warfighter to stay ahead of changing global threats."

"The demonstration showed that the Q-53 radar can provide soldiers in combat real time awareness of air threats."

The Q-53 can be readily adapted to provide both air surveillance and counter fire target acquisition in one tactical sensor.

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To date, Lockheed has won contracts for more than 100 radars and delivered more than 60 systems to the US Army, replacing the ageing AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 medium-range radars.

The army is expected to award a full-rate production contract this year, bringing the number of systems to more than 170.

Lockheed produces Q-53 radars at its facilities in Syracuse and Owego, New York, Moorestown, New Jersey, and Clearwater, Florida, US.

Image: The AN/TPQ-53 radar can be rapidly deployed, automatically levelled and remotely operated. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.