Long Range Discrimination Radar from Lockheed Martin Completes Critical Design Review

Lockheed Martin has recently completed a rigorous Critical Design Review (CDR) with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR). The radar system demonstrated compliance to all technical performance measures and requirements and will support a layered ballistic missile defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks.

The MDA awarded the $784 million contract to Lockheed Martin in 2015 to develop, build and test LRDR, and the company is on track on an aggressive schedule to deliver the radar to Clear, Alaska in 2020. Teams from Lockheed Martin, the MDA (Missile Defense Agency) Sensors Directorate and the Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) have worked closely to ensure seamless integration. Successfully executing the Critical Design Review validates that the Long Range Discrimination Radar system is ready to proceed into fabrication, demonstration, and test and that the hardware and software component have achieved Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 and Manufacturing Readiness Level 7.

Similar to Lockheed Martin's Space Fence radar system, LRDR is a high-powered S-Band radar incorporating solid-state gallium nitride (GaN) components. It adds the capability of discriminating threats at extreme distances using the inherent wideband capability of the hardware coupled with advanced software algorithms. It is a strategic national asset of the MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System and will provide 24/7/365 acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable 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.

With the completion of the critical design review, the program now begins the start of low rate manufacturing which began in October. In preparation for full rate manufacturing starting in mid-2018, Lockheed Martin will be utilizing production hardware in combination with prototype systems, tactical back-end processing equipment as well as tactical software to demonstrate system performance in an operational environment to achieve system TRL 7. The company will be performing a series of tests in the Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS) including a closed loop satellite track test.

In addition to CDR, Lockheed Martin conducted a Facilities Design Review in October for the LRDR equipment shelter design. It will run a full and open competition for the construction of the equipment shelter in Clear, Alaska and will begin construction of the shelter in the first half of 2019.  The MDA team is preparing the site for radar system installation and checkout mobilization, constructing the mission control facility and starting the foundation for the LRDR equipment shelter.

Work on LRDR is primarily performed in New Jersey, Alaska, Alabama, Florida and New York.