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Lockheed Martin awarded $784 million contract for missile defense radar

By Ryan Maass
The radar system will support a layered ballistic missile defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks. Graphic courtesy of the Missile Defense Agency.
The radar system will support a layered ballistic missile defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks. Graphic courtesy of the Missile Defense Agency.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The Missile Defense Agency awarded a team led by Lockheed Martin a contract to develop the Long Range Discrimination Radar to protect the U.S. from homeland attacks.

The radar system will be designed to support a layered ballistic missile defense strategy. The team tasked with development will be contracted for nine years, with the potential contract value totaling $784 million if all options are utilized. Work on the radar will be done in New Jersey, Alaska, Alabama, New York, and Florida.

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The Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) will provide precision metric data to improve ballistic defense information, combining solid-state radar technologies with ballistic missile defense algorithms. Lockheed Martin says the radar will keep up with evolving missile threats. Carl Bannar, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors business, says the United States needs the radar as more threats become known.

"The U.S. has a limited number of ground-based interceptors to detect threats, yet the number of potential missile threats - and countermeasures used to hide those threats - is growing," Cannar said in a statement. "Our offering meets the MDA's vision for LRDR by pairing innovative radar discrimination capability with proven ballistic missile defense algorithms."

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The planned LRDR will consist of an active electronically-scanned antenna and a facility to house and operate the antenna.

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