Aegis Ashore system, long-range radar paired to boost intelligence, situational awareness

BETHESDA, Md. Lockheed Martin reports that it has connected key components of its Aegis Ashore and Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) technologies, with a demonstration of the technologies' joint ability to increase the operational performance, efficiency, and reliability of Aegis Ashore.

Aegis Ashore is the land-based ballistic-missile defense version of the Aegis Combat System; it is currently fielded in Romania and will soon be deployed in Poland.

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According to Lockheed Martin documents, the U.S. Department of Defense's newest ballistic missile defense sensor, LRDR, will use thousands of Lockheed Martin Solid State (SSR) gallium nitride (GaN)-based radar building blocks to provide enhanced target acquisition, tracking, and discrimination data to the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Lockheed Martin officials say that connecting the two mature systems effectively results in a low-risk "technology refresh" of the legacy SPY-1 antenna, resulting in such benefits as the ability to detect targets at longer distances, the ability to combat larger numbers of targets simultaneously, enhanced target engagement opportunities, higher-quality performance in complicated land environments, and owered possibility of interference with civilian or radio emitters and receivers.

"Connecting these systems is more than a technological advantage -- it's a way to provide the warfighter with earlier intelligence and expanded situational awareness," said Dr. Tony DeSimone, vice president and chief engineer of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and . "Integration of these technologies allows us to deliver the most advanced solid state radar system in LRDR with the proven tested capability of Aegis. For the warfighter this combination provides an increased capability, in terms of additional performance and reaction time, to safely protect the people and nations they defend."

LRDR completed its critical design review in 2017 and is on track to be operational in Alaska in 2020.

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