Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin will develop lower-tier air and missile defense sensor prototypes under a Department of Defense contract.
The award is from the Department's Ordnance Technology Consortium, an initiative to facilitate collaboration between the government, industry and academia for technology development. Lockheed Martin did not disclose the contract's value in a release Thursday.
"Lockheed Martin is ready to leverage our significant experience, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology and sensor capabilities in the [lower-tier air and missile defense sensor] concept definition phase to accelerate much needed enhanced capability to the warfighter," Mark Mekker, director of next generation radar systems at Lockheed Martin, said in a statement.
Lockheed Martin said it is using a prototype investment program to develop needed specifications for the lower-tier air and missile defense sensor mission. Defense Department funding will help to that end.
The prototype will feature Gallium Nitride transmitter technology and use signal processing techniques that will include 360-degree rotational capability, the Maryland-based company said.
"Technology is maturing at such a pace that continuing to incrementally upgrade the heritage Patriot MPQ-65 radar system is no longer the most efficient and cost-effective option," Mekker said. "A next generation [lower-tier air and missile defense sensor] radar will leverage recent advances in radar technology to provide a cost-effective, scalable, long-term solution that can address current threats and adapt to emerging and future threats."