GaN-based radar from Lockheed Martin reaches technical milestone prior to delivery to MDA

MOORESTOWN, N.J. Lockheed Martin reports that its Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) has completed a closed-loop satellite track with tactical hardware and software; the test marks a major milestone, as the LRDR program continues to meet its technical goals and works toward its expected 2020 delivery to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Clear, Alaska.

As a risk-mitigation waypost in achieving delivery to MDA in 2020, Lockheed Martin invested in a Solid State Integration Site (SSRIS) in Moorestown, New Jersey, which was used to conduct the recent tests. The SSRIS is a scaled version of the final LRDR radar and will continue to be utilized for solid state radar (SSR) development.

The SSR concept uses a scalable, modular, and extensible gallium nitride (GaN)-based radar building block, which Lockheed Martin officials say enables cutting-edge performance, increased efficiency, and enhanced reliability as it faces ever-evolving ballistic-missile threats.

The radar system will serve as a critical sensor within MDA’s layered defense strategy, offering 24/7/365 acquisition, tracking, and discrimination data to enable defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile. LRDR adds the capability of discriminating threats at extended distances using the inherent wideband capability of the hardware coupled with advanced software algorithms and does this based upon an open architecture platform capable of meeting future growth. Lockheed Martin -- which regards SSR as the cornerstone of its current and future radar development -- says that it is key to the development of LRDR.

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