BETHESDA, Md., May 1 (UPI) -- A 360-degree radar system to help troops counter artillery, mortar and rocket fire is being produced by Lockheed Martin under a $391 million U.S. Army contract.
The two orders, which are options of an earlier award, are for 33 AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) counter-fire target acquisition radars.
The radars -- plus spares, testing and training materials -- will be delivered to the Army by the end of 2014. If all options of the earlier contract are exercised, 38 additional low- and full-rate production systems could be added, bringing the total contract value to more than $800 million.
"The Q-53 is in production and has been battlefield-proven by the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Lee Flake, program director for counter-fire target acquisition radar programs at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Sensors business.
"The radar detects, classifies and tracks enemy indirect fire, as well as locating its source, in either 360- or 90-degree modes that give soldiers greater protection than ever before."
The Q-53s are mounted on a truck and remotely operated with a laptop computer or from a command vehicle.
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