Lockheed Martin has completed the final full-scale prototype of its TPY-X multimission ground-based radar system and is now preparing to begin production.
TPY-X was developed as part of Lockheed Martin's long-term vision of continuous support and service for its existing long-range surveillance products, addressing obsolescence and enhancing performance as the threat has evolved.
The L-band radar is scalable, has a modern digital architecture, a distributed architecture with digital beam forming, and uses gallium nitride semiconductors. The radar will be available in fixed and mobile variants. It is transportable via C-130 or C-17 cargo aircraft, truck, rail, or helicopter.
TPY-X is designed to provide increased performance against smaller threats in the clutter and electromagnetic attack environments that ground-based radars operate in, Mark Mekker, director of next-generation radars for Lockheed Martin, told Jane's .
Since initially introducing the radar in mid-2016, Lockheed Martin has completed several designs and releases of system builds at various levels, he said.
"Each one was used to flush out improvements for performance and manufacturability as part of our affordability initiatives," he said. "The final version provided what was needed to begin the production process for initial release."
For its new radar, Lockheed Martin leveraged development and production radar programmes that offered direct-use technology, such as the leveling legs and rapid emplacement capability from the TPQ-53 radar system, Mekkor said.
Lockheed Martin continues to utilise the prototype TPY-X system to validate and qualify hardware designs leading into a production release. The system also serves as an asset to use as software baselines are finalised.
"We can use the actual AESA [Active Electronically Scanned Array] antenna to test our SW [short-wave] functionality and control instead of relying on models and simulations," Mekker said.
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