Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has received a $281 million contract on Wednesday from the U.S. Army for development of the next generation Sentinel A4 radar.
The deal, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, is the first of several for what is expected to be a $3 billion program over the next years.
The contract covers 18 Sentinel A4 radar systems, an upgrade to the existing Sentinel A3, a short-range air defense system used by the Army.
"By leveraging our open scalable radar architecture and production efforts, we believe we provide the lowest risk and best value solution for the U.S. Army that will help protect our warfighters for years to come," Rob Smith, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin's Radar and Sensor Systems, said in a press release.
The new system will display updates of improvements to Sentinel capabilities to defend against cruise missiles, remote aerial systems and threats from aircraft. The A4 can integrate with current air and missile defense systems, counter-rocket, artillery and mortar systems to protect against friendly aircraft fire.
According to Lockheed, the array and signal processing upgrades will allow the short-range radar to detect, classify, identify and report capability of a rocket, artillery and mortar threats.
"This multi-billion dollar, record-breaking contract enables the world-class workforce at Lockheed Martin to produce cutting-edge radar that protects our troops on the battlefield and will also drive the Central New York economy for years to come," U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement this week.
Work will be performed at Lockheed's plant near Syracuse, N.Y., and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2026.
The plant had been slated to close as part of a restructuring, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported, but Schumer intervened, helping to direct a work on the multi-billion-dollar Q-53 radar program there, in addition to the new A4 development.