The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded Lockheed Martin a $459 million contract modification for production and delivery of interceptors for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system. The modification brings the total contract value to $1.28 billion with funding provided in 2017 and 2018. The new interceptors support U.S. Army THAAD units and growing operational requirements.
THAAD is a key element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), and is highly effective at protecting America’s military, allied forces, citizen population centers and critical infrastructure from short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missile attacks.
«The THAAD system’s capability and reliability have been demonstrated with 15 out of 15 hit-to-kill intercepts dating back to 1999, and by exceeding readiness rates currently being experienced in the field with operationally deployed batteries», said Richard McDaniel, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for the THAAD system.
«THAAD interceptors defeat dangerous missile threats our troops and allies are facing today, and have capability against advancing future threats. Our focus on affordability, coupled with efficiencies of increased volume, is providing significant cost-savings opportunities to meet growing demand from the U.S. and allies around the globe», he said.
THAAD employs Lockheed Martin’s proven «hit-to-kill» technology. The system is rapidly deployable, mobile, and is interoperable with all other BMDS elements, including Patriot/Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3), Aegis, forward-based sensors and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system. These unique capabilities make THAAD an important addition to integrated air and missile defense architectures around the world.
The U.S. Army activated the seventh THAAD battery in December 2016. Lockheed Martin delivered the 200th THAAD interceptor in September of 2017. The United Arab Emirates was the first international partner to procure THAAD with a contract awarded in 2011.
In a landmark demonstration, Lockheed Martin connected key components of its Aegis Ashore and Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) technologies, validating the ability to greatly increase operational performance, efficiency and reliability of Aegis Ashore.
«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 Doctor Tony DeSimone, vice president and chief engineer of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors. «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».
Connecting the two mature systems, amounts to a low risk ‘technology refresh’ of the legacy SPY-1 antenna, resulting in:
Ability to detect targets at longer distances;
Ability to combat larger numbers of targets simultaneously;
Additional target engagement opportunities;
Higher performance in complicated land environments;
Minimized interference with civilian or military radio emitters and receivers;
Increased use of the new SM-3 Block IIA missile’s performance.
Lockheed Martin Solid State Radar (SSR) is a scalable Gallium Nitride (GaN) based radar building block, which in addition to cutting edge performance provides increased efficiency and reliability. The Department of Defense’s newest Ballistic Missile Defense sensor, LRDR, will use thousands of Lockheed Martin SSR building blocks to provide enhanced target acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System. LRDR completed its critical design review in 2017 and is on track to be operational in Alaska in 2020.
Aegis Ashore is the land-based ballistic missile defense adaptation of the proven Aegis Combat System, currently fielded in Romania and soon to be fielded in Poland.
The research and development demonstration proved that current and future versions of Aegis can simultaneously command tasking of the Lockheed Martin SSR and receive target tracks from the radar. The next phase of activity is to demonstrate simulated missile engagements with live tracking, scheduled for the first half of 2018. These tests build on multiple previous demonstrations in 2015 and 2016, in which Aegis software variant Baseline 9 already tracked live targets using a prototype version of Lockheed Martin SSR hardware powered by multi-purpose Fujitsu GaN from Japan.
The Aegis software has evolved over time and is now compatible with multiple radars. Recently, Australia and Spain selected Aegis configurations featuring their own solid-state radars. Weaving existing systems together is becoming more common to stay ahead of threats efficiently, by leveraging prior or concurrent investments in advanced technology.
«The Aegis Combat System is adaptable and flexible to address warfighting needs, which is one of the reasons the system is so widely used around the world», said Michele Evans, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors. «As our customers look to update their technology with the help of their industrial bases, they are increasingly choosing alternative radars to equip their platforms. In challenging threat environments, we can deliver advanced capability at lower cost if we can be flexible and connect a variety of existing technologies».
Lockheed Martin SSR, including very robust participation from Japanese industry, is one of the configuration options available to Japan for its upcoming Aegis Ashore installations. Because Lockheed Martin provides the Aegis Ashore software and SPY-1 radar, its SSR can operate in a way that uses a common Integrated Air and Missile Defense Aegis baseline with the one recently purchased by Japan’s Ministry of Defense for its new destroyers.
Lockheed Martin completed a rigorous Critical Design Review (CDR) on September 28 with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR), demonstrating compliance to all technical performance measures and requirements. The radar system 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, MDA Sensors Directorate and the Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications or C2BMC have worked interfaces closely to ensure seamless integration.
Successfully executing CDR validates that the LRDR 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.
With the completion of CDR, 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. Lockheed Martin will be performing a series of tests in the Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS) including a closed loop satellite track test.
«We remain committed to support the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense and Homeland Defense Missions», said Chandra Marshall, LRDR program director, Lockheed Martin. «I am extremely proud of the team for their dedication and commitment to the successful execution of the LRDR program. This team has achieved every milestone, including this CDR, on schedule since contract award in 2015».
Marshall continued, «I am extremely pleased with the progress the entire LRDR team has made in the two years since contract award. With the success of CDR, LRDR is on track for Initial Operating Capability or IOC in 2020».
In addition to CDR, Lockheed Martin conducted a Facilities Design Review in October for the LRDR equipment shelter design. Lockheed Martin 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.
Similar to Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence radar system, LRDR is a high-powered S-Band radar incorporating solid-state Gallium Nitride (GaN) components. LRDR adds the capability of discriminating threats at extreme distances using the inherent wideband capability of the hardware coupled with advanced software algorithms.
LRDR 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.
Lockheed Martin is well positioned to provide low risk, scalable radar solutions that address critical homeland defense needs; providing a persistent capability to keep pace with evolving threats, delivering unmatched discrimination capability in the Pacific architecture, and increasing the defensive capability of Ground Based Interceptors.
Work on LRDR is primarily performed in New Jersey, Alaska, Alabama, Florida and New York.
As a proven world leader in systems integration and development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, Lockheed Martin delivers high-quality missile defense solutions that protect citizens, critical assets and deployed forces from current and future threats. The company’s experience spans radar and signal processing, missile design and production, hit-to-kill capabilities, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as threat-representative targets for missile defense tests.
On July 10, the United States of America is for the first deploying Patriot long-range missile system in Lithuania. The deployment demonstrates the steadfast U.S. commitment to the security of Lithuania and its high readiness to send strategic capabilities to the region.
The Patriot will be operating in one pool with Lithuanian and other NATO allies’ air defence systems during Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017, multinational ground based air defence units exercise for the first time held in Lithuania.
The exercise will train interoperability among NATO ground based air defence units and refine airspace command and control procedures. The exercise aims at enhancing regional and international integration of joint units thus training and strengthening preparedness for a potential NATO collective defence scenario.
Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017 begins in July 11 to run until July 22 in Šiauliai district. The event will involve roughly 500 soldiers and 30 air defence systems of Lithuania and four more NATO allies – the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Latvia, and Poland.
Tobruq Legacy 2017 will be conducted concurrently in Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Romania under the command of Romania-based Joint Force Air Component Command (NATO JFAC) that will include members of the Lithuanian Air Force. Lithuanian units will also train night air defence operations control at the portion of the exercise in the Czech Republic.
National Exercise Vigilant Falcon 2017 in Lithuania will be an integral part of Tobruq Legacy 2017. The exercise will enhance interoperability and command and control procedures among units of the Lithuanian Air Force.
The host of Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017 is the United States of America. This is the third time the Lithuanian Air Force is among the participants. In 2015 soldiers of the Lithuanian Air Force were for the first-time training NATO air defence operations in a platoon-sized unit in the Czech Republic, in a battery-sized unit in Slovakia – in 2016, and this year representatives of the Lithuanian Air Force will practice joint actions with NATO allies and providing command to a ground based Air Defence Battalion-level unit.