The Air Force has chosen two U.S. companies and one Australian firm to build new prototypes for its new ground-based radar system, the service said May 11.
Northrop Grumman [NOC] and Lockheed Martin [LMT] will participate under Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs) to build new sensors for the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR), also called “SpeedDealer.” CEA Technologies will also participate through a Foreign Comparative Test project award, per Monday’s release from the program office, based at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.
Each award is worth $500,000 for the companies to demonstrate their system’s capabilities, maintenance concepts and radar performance against operationally relevant targets and conditions by the end of September, the service said. A final system is expected to be chosen for integration and possibly production by the end of calendar year 2020.
Inside Defense first reported earlier this year that the Air Force canceled its original $71.8 million Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) SpeedDealer contract with Raytheon [RTN] due to numerous technical and supplier issues that caused schedule delays. The SpeedDealer radar is meant to replace the service’s AN/TPS-75 airborne target detection radars, built by Northrop Grumman.
“We are not starting over; this is not a new development contract,” said Col. Michael Harm, 3DELRR’s senior materiel leader. “Through the information presented during our industry day and received in the companies’ response to the solicitation, we were able to confirm that production-ready systems can be demonstrated this year.”
Proposals were due April 15 for the SpeedDealer program. The Air Force released its solicitation March 2 after holding a “successful” industry day in February, said Lt. Col. Matthew Judge, materiel leader, in the statement. A follow-on production contract could be worth up to 35 systems, and the Air Force said it anticipates a production-ready radar could reach initial operational capability by the end of fiscal year 2024.