Lockheed Martin is on track to meet an upcoming series of design reviews scheduled for 2017 for its Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) programme, following completion of its preliminary design review (PDR) in March.
The company will deliver its S-band discrimination radar, which is designed to optimise the defensive capabilities of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor, to Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, in 2020, Chandra Marshall, LRDR programme director for Lockheed Martin, said.
"This radar does provide precision metric data to improve BMD [ballistic missile defence] discrimination and will replace existing sensors in the BMDS [BMD system]," Marshall explained. The "LRDR will be the first radar of its kind that delivers solid state S-band technology to the force by 2020."
The radar passed the PDR on 21 and 22 March and is scheduled to enter Critical Design Review in September 2017, followed by a final review in November 2017. The LRDR will then enter full-rate production in the second quarter of calendar year 2018.
The LRDR has an open architecture that will enable the system to keep pace with the continually evolving threat and will increase the effectiveness of the GMD interceptors deployed today, Marshall added.
"We did successfully complete our PDR. That review, we leveraged for LRDR established and proven hardware and technology that is fielded today and really well beyond Technology Readiness Level [TRL] 9," she added. "For LRDR though, and the mission specifically, we have upgraded key technology areas including upgrading to [dual polarisation] technology, and we just successfully achieved TRL 6 and Manufacturing Readiness Level [MRL] 6 for those key areas that we updated at PDR."
Dual polarisation improves the ability of LRDR to discriminate objects and provide better track data, Marshall explained.
Additionally it is important to note that 90% of the software code Lockheed Martin is utilising for LRDR is from legacy Aegis BMD code.
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