The U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) program has completed the delivery of the first ten antenna panels to Clear Air Force Station, Alaska.
The LRDR long-range radar, being developed by Lockheed Martin, will serve as a critical sensor within MDA’s layered defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks.
The ten panels will make up the first of the LRDR system’s two radar antenna arrays. The two radar antenna arrays will be comprised of a total of 20 panels, each about 27 feet tall, measuring approximately four stories high and wide.
Temporary structures have been assembled in front of the future LRDR radar facility at Clear AFS to ensure the panels are installed on schedule, regardless of weather conditions. The installation and integration of the radar system began last year and will be followed by the transition to the testing period.
Over 66% of program technical requirements have already been verified at Lockheed Martin’s Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS). According to Lockheed Martin, the delivery of the radar to MDA is expected this year.
“We are confident in our product because of the extensive testing that we have been able to perform in the SSRIS over the past few years with production hardware and tactical software. We have successfully reduced a large amount of risk to ensure fielding of this critical capability on schedule in 2020,” says Chandra Marshall, director of Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense and Space Surveillance Radar programs.
LRDR is a long-range radar that will provide precision metric data to improve ballistic defense discrimination and replace existing sensors in the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).
The radar combines proven solid state radar (SSR) technologies with proven ballistic missile defense algorithms, all based upon an open architecture platform capable of meeting future growth. The system will provide around-the-clock threat acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats.
The LRDR program is built upon S-Band radar technology and is the latest in a long line of S-Band radars developed by Lockheed Martin, including the Aegis Combat System (ACS), Space Fence and Aegis Ashore.
In 2018, LRDR achieved Technical Readiness Level 7 using a scalable and modular gallium nitride-based “subarray” radar building block, providing advanced performance and increased efficiency and reliability to pace ever-evolving threats.
Scaled versions of the LRDR technology will be utilized for future radar programs including Aegis Ashore Japan, recently designated AN/SPY-7(V)1, Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program, and Spain’s F-110 frigate program.