The Army has selected Lockheed Martin’s [LMT] Sentinel A4 platform to serve as the new radar for the National Capital Region-Integrated Air Defense System (NCR-IADS), the company announced on October 11. 

“The Sentinel A4 radar represents the future of air defense and having been selected as the upgrade to the NCR-IADS speaks volumes to the trust the Army has in the radar’s performance and capability,” Chandra Marshall, vice president of Lockheed Martin Radar and Sensor Systems, said in a statement.

Sentinel A4. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin’s Sentinel A4 is the Army’s replacement for the Sentinel A3, built by Thales and Raytheon Technologies [RTX], and the first five new radars were delivered to the service in late May (Defense Daily, June 10). 

The upgraded version of the Sentinel radar, which provides air surveillance and fire control data, transitions the system to Active Electronically Scanned Array technology and is designed to identify and track multiple threats simultaneously, including cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft, and rocket, artillery, and mortar threats.

“The improved performance, maintainability, and reliability of the Sentinel A4 radar will bring a substantial capability upgrade to the homeland defense of the National Capital Region,” Army Col. Jason Tate, who oversees the Sentinel A4 Product Office, said in a statement. “An important mission like the NCR requires the best systems the Army can provide.”

Lockheed Martin noted NCR-IADS is part of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and “consists of a system of radars, cameras, visual warning system, alert aircraft, and Army air defense artillery assets.”

“It was created shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to provide low-altitude, low-airspeed detection capabilities to defend against airborne threats to the NCR,” the company wrote.

Lockheed Martin was awarded the potential $281 million low-rate initial production contract for Sentinel A4 in September 2019 that includes options for delivery of up to 18 of the new version of the AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radars (Defense Daily, Sept. 25 2019).

In October 2021, Lockheed Martin announced the Army had awarded the company an accelerated contract to begin production on five additional Sentinel A4 radars, speeding up the program’s overall timeline (Defense Daily, Oct. 13 2021).

Lockheed Martin has said the first batch of radars now with the Army will go through mobility, environmental, radar performance and logistics testing.