By Andy Choi
Global security company, Lockheed Martin, has been awarded a $46.8 million contract by the U.S. Air Force to modernize early warning long-range surveillance radars.
AN/FPS-117 long-range surveillance radars
The 29 AN/FPS-117 radars provide air traffic control and advanced warning surveillance over the U.S. airspace.
The company will initially complete the engineering plans under the Essential Parts Replacement Program (EPRP) contract and then commence the upgradation process. Under follow-on contract options, Lockheed will replace the signal and data processors of the radars and update them to current technology standards enabling them to be operated through 2025.
As a part of the Seek Igloo North Warning program, Lockheed Martin had installed the FPS-117 radars in the 1980’s and has provided a couple of upgrades on them. The EPRP program manager for the mission systems & sensors business at Lockheed Martin, Frank Mekker, stated that the company’s L-Band radar open architecture approach supports over 175 long-range radars located over the globe. EPRP and similar signal processing upgrades are leveraged across the radar fleet, consisting of Lockheed’s Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar (3DELRR), FPS-117, TPS-59, and TPS-77.
The company is to modernize 11 radars in Canada, one each in Puerto Rico, Utah and Hawaii, and 15 radars located in Alaska, by 2014. These radars form part of the U.S. Air Force’s Atmospheric Early Warning System. The secondary surveillance radar which is used for controlling air traffic in these radar sites are also to be replaced under the EPRP contract.
The AN/FPS-117 radar is solid-state, three-dimensional radar that has received NATO-certification. It features sophisticated pencil beam architecture. The transportable version of the 117 radar system, TPS-77 and the FPS-117 are currently being used in over 25 countries. They can be operated in inhospitable, remote areas and in completely unmanned conditions. The FPS-117 L-band radar can provide surveillance on targets to 250 mi.