The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] $46.8 million in contract options to begin modernizing 29 long-range radars which provide advanced warning and air traffic control surveillance over North America's airspace.
Under initial options of the Essential Parts Replacement Program (EPRP) contract, Lockheed Martin will complete engineering planning and begin to upgrade 29 geographically disbursed AN/FPS-117 long-range surveillance radars. Expected follow-on contract options will replace and update all the radars' signal and data processors to current commercial technology standards, cost effectively extending their operational lives thru 2025.
These FPS-117 radars were originally installed by Lockheed Martin in the early 1980s as part of the Seek Igloo North Warning program. The company has provided several technology upgrades since then.
"Our open architecture approach to L-Band radars provides commonality in supporting and sustaining a fleet of more than 175 long-range radars operational around the world," said Frank Mekker, EPRP program manager for Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Sensors business. "Signal processing upgrades like EPRP are leveraged across this fleet, including the TPS-59, FPS-117, TPS-77, and even our Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar (3DELRR), to provide significant lifecycle cost savings for our customers."
In recent years, Lockheed Martin has successfully completed similar radar modernizations at sites in the United Kingdom, Germany, Romania and Kuwait.
Under the EPRP contract, Lockheed Martin will modernize 15 radars in Alaska, 11 in Canada, and one each in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Utah, which are part of the Air Force's Atmospheric Early Warning System, by 2014. The contract also includes replacement of the radar site's secondary surveillance radar, used for air traffic control purposes. The EPRP acquisition is being led by the Ogden Air Logistics Center of the Air Force Material Command at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The NATO-certified AN/FPS-117 radar is the world's most widely used three-dimensional, solid-state radar. Today, FPS-117 and TPS-77, a transportable version of the 117, radar systems are operational in 25 countries. Capable of operating completely unmanned, many have performed for years in remote, inhospitable areas and in a wide range of operational environments.
Lockheed Martin's FPS-117 L-band radar provides continuous high-quality surveillance on air targets at ranges out to 250 miles. The radar offers superior performance even in high clutter environments thanks to its solid-state design and L-band operation. The AN/FPS-117's advanced pencil beam architecture provides exceptional detection and tracking, as well as outstanding adaptability to changing environmental conditions.
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