Lockheed's Long Range Discrimination Radar Program Clears Preliminary Design Review

The Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR), developed by Lockheed Martin has passed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), indicating that detailed design on the radar system can move forward. The Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) program is the backbone of the Missile Defense Agency’s layered defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attack.

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in 2015 awarded the $784 million contract to Lockheed Martin to develop, build and test the LRDR, and the company is on track on an aggressive schedule to deliver the radar to Clear, Alaska. Lockheed Martin passed the PDR by demonstrating both a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 6, putting the team on a path to achieve TRL 7 later this year allowing the program transition to manufacturing. Lockheed Martin utilized a scaled LRDR system to successfully demonstrate Critical Technology Elements (CTEs) in a relevant end to end environment.  

During the two-day PDR, representatives from the MDA and the Office of Secretary of Defense, toured Lockheed Martin's facility to see the LRDR Prototype System and the new Solid State Radar Integration Site, a self-funded test facility that will be utilized to demonstrate TRL 7 and provide significant risk reduction for development of LRDR and future solid state radar systems.

Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) is a long range radar that will provide precision metric data to improve ballistic defense discrimination and replace existing sensors in the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). With a mission of protecting the homeland, LRDR will keep pace with evolving ballistic missile threats and increase the effectiveness of ground based interceptors.

The program is built upon the U.S. government’s long-term investment in S-Band radar, ground-based radar, and systems integration, as evident in such Lockheed Martin technologies as the Aegis Combat System, Space Fence and Aegis Ashore. This solid state, gallium nitride (GaN)-based radar utilizes Lockheed Martin’s Open GaN Foundry model, which leverages relationships with strategic GaN suppliers.

LRDR is a key component of the MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and will provide acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable separate defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats, a capability that stems from Lockheed Martin's decades of experience in creating ballistic missile defense systems for the U.S. and allied governments.