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British Army upgrades air defence capability

LEAPP at the G7 World Summit 2021 in Cornwall in 2021. (@Comd7ADGp)

The British Army's Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) capability, developed by Lockheed Martin UK, is to be upgraded and have its in-service date extended to 2029, the company announced on 26 January.

The value of the extended contract is GBP20 million (USD27 million). No timescale for the upgrade was revealed.

The truck-mounted system provides early air-defence warning at land formation headquarters (HQ) through airspace management, surveillance, and ground-based command and control (C2). Integrated with the Saab Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (G-AMB) 3D surveillance radar it fuses the local air picture and the recognised air picture (RAP) utilising Link 16 and other tactical datalinks (TDLs), and provides integrated weapon engagement management.

The system was recently used in a surveillance capability at the G7 2021 Summit in Cornwall and the COP 26 Summit in Glasgow, and has been deployed overseas on numerous occasions.

LEAPP entered service in November 2014. An Invitation to Tender (ITT) for a replacement system was issued in March 2020 but this was not followed up and Lockheed Martin UK has now been contracted (having been selected in July 2021) to provide hardware and software updates to overcome obsolescence and to maintain and improve the capability.

Graeme Forsyth, SkyKeeper capture lead for Lockheed Martin UK, told Janes that the update includes upgrading the operating system, modernisation of Link 16 crypto, and “dealing with a number of other obsolescence issues”, including updating the Mode 5 identification friend or foe (IFF) capabilities.

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