New Multi-Mission Radar Seeks Threats From Sea to Space

By Allyson Park

Lockheed Martin photo

SYRACUSE, New York — Lockheed Martin’s TPY-4 ground-based radar is scheduled to start initial testing with the Air Force in June, according to company officials.

In March 2022, the Air Force selected Lockheed Martin’s TPY-4 radar for its Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar program.

The contract includes production options for 35 long-range radar systems, according to a Lockheed Martin press release.

The Air Force was looking for a radar that could do it all, including air and maritime surveillance, low-profile drone detection and ballistic missile and satellite tracking. It wanted 360-degree coverage at distances up to 555 kilometers and 45-degree coverage up to 1,000 kilometers.

The tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida will last about a year. Leading up to then, Lockheed Martin will conduct back-end processing and testing in its laboratories, Steve Allen, program director of ground-based air surveillance at Lockheed Martin, said at a recent media event.

The TPY-4 ground-based radar, an air defense and surveillance system designed specifically for multi-mission purposes, provides warfighters with the “ability to detect and track current and emerging threats.” The system utilizes an “open and scalable distributed architecture that provides maximum flexibility for future growth and adaptation to evolving requirements/missions, technology insertion and overall reduced total ownership cost,” according to a Lockheed Martin product sheet.

Chandra Marshall, general manager of Lockheed Martin’s facility in Syracuse, New York, and vice president of radar and sensor systems, said the company was able to test the TPY-4 so quickly because it “invested in the first production unit prior to being under contract. So had we not done that, we would not be in a position where we would be in the [Developmental Test and Evaluation and Operational Test and Evaluation] testing early next year.”

With the Air Force reinvesting in electronic warfare and ground-based systems, especially in contested environments, the defense industry is shifting to adapt to those needs, she said.

“What we see from a bigger market perspective is, from a sensor-specific perspective, multi-mission is key,” Marshall said. “So, having a radar that can perform missions simultaneously, for the customers, has really been a market changer going forward as we kind of look into what we’re doing now and into the future.”


Topics: Emerging Technologies

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