The move forward into the engineering, manufacturing and development phase for the ground-based radar by the Theater Battle Control Division at Hanscom Air Force Base follows recent completion of prototype demonstrations.
"These demonstrations were the final contract activities for the 12-month pre-engineering manufacturing and development period of 3DELRR's TD phase," said Suzanne Farrell, deputy program manager. "They gave the program office the opportunity to evaluate each contractor's initial design and validate compliance with 3DELRR requirements."
3DELRR will detect, identify and track fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and will replace the aging TPS-75 radar as the service's main long-range, ground-based sensor. During the demonstrations, each of the current technology demonstration-phase contractors displayed a full-scale, operational, long-range air surveillance system prototype, which included a full-scale antenna structure, signal and data processing, and data display.
In the tests, the prototypes detected and tracked targets of opportunity from nearby airports.
"From a program management perspective, we have three very strong competitors with three independent designs, so it's good to have that competition as we go into the next phase," said Farrell.
The prototypes were from Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.