Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first Q-53 radar system equipped with Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology to the U.S. Army, the company announced.
The AN/TPQ-53 system is the most modern radar deployed by the U.S. Army, and it is now poised to be the first and only Army radar system operating with GaN. The primary mission of the Q-53 is to protect troops in combat by detecting, classifying, tracking and identifying the location of enemy indirect fire in either 90 or 360-degree modes.
“Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first Q-53 system to the U.S. Army equipped with GaN,” said Mark Mekker, director, Lockheed Martin Army radar programs. “This critical upgrade will enable the Army to continuously grow and enhance the system’s capabilities to meet changing mission needs.”
In 2018, the Army awarded Lockheed Martin a contract modification to insert GaN into the AN/TPQ-53 radar as part of the full rate production configuration.
GaN transmit-receive modules will provide the radar with additional power, reliability and the possibility for enhanced capabilities, including extended range, counterfire target acquisition (CTA) and multi-mission, which delivers simultaneous CTA and air surveillance. The systems upgraded with GaN are part of the Lot 3 contract awarded in 2018.
“We realize how critical it is to develop and build these radars so they will be responsive to the evolving operational demands and threats our deployed troops face every day,” said Mekker. “Lockheed Martin’s open, scalable radar architecture is the cornerstone of the systems’ designs and will allow for future upgrades that will not only extend the lives of the radars—but evolve their capabilities over the next 40 years.”
Mounted on a five-ton truck, the Q-53 radar can be rapidly deployed, automatically leveled then operated remotely or from a command vehicle with a laptop computer. The radar is software-defined allowing for quick adjustment to address emerging Army capability needs for air surveillance and counter fire target acquisition. The Q-53 has protected warfighters around the world since 2010.