HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The first of 20 Lockheed Martin

[LMT]-built Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) panels was delivered to the deployment site in Clear Air Force Station, Alaska in May, the company said Tuesday during the annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium.

The 27-foot tall panel was built at the company’s Solid State Radar Integration site (SSRIS) in Moorestown, N.J., and was sent the 5,000 miles via truck. A Lockheed spokesperson told Defense Daily it takes about two weeks to get each panel to Alaska and then a month to get the panel ready.

A truck transporting the first radar panel to Clear Air Force Station prepares to leave Lockheed Martin’s Moorestown, N.J., facility. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
A truck transporting the first radar panel to Clear Air Force Station prepares to leave Lockheed Martin’s Moorestown, N.J., facility. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The LRDR will eventually consists of 20 panels that will make up LRDR’s two antenna faces. Each face will have 10 panels and be about 30 feet high and the size of four semi-truck trailers.  Each panel is about 10 feet wide by 15-20 feet high. The company noted manufacturing and construction of the LRDR site remains on schedule.

Installation and integration of the LRDR will start this year before it moves to the testing period. Lockheed Martin is currently in full-rate production for the LRDR systems.

The company said the last panel is scheduled to be delivered and installed in the first quarter of 2020, testing will occur throughout 2020, and Lockheed Martin will complete of the radar at the end of 2020. At that point, MDA will take over the radar and work toward initial operating capability (IOC).

Lockheed Martin also noted it finished topping off construction of the Clear facility’s framework shelter, which will house the radar. The shelter’s final beam was installed in June. The company said these developments demonstrate they continue to achieve all milestones on time.

The LRDR is an S-band radar developed by Lockheed Martin that uses gallium nitride (GaN) components It combines a solid-state radar (SSR) technology with missile defense algorithms on an open architecture platform to better distinguish between missile threats and other objects or decoys at longer ranges. It will be used in the MDA’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.

“Solid state radar is the cornerstone of our current and future radar development,” Rob Smith, vice president and general manager of Radar and Sensors Systems at Lockheed Martin, said in a statement.

Last October the company completed a technical milestone for LRDR, finishing a closed loop satellite track with tactical hardware and software. Construction of the site in Alaska also began last September (Defense Daily, Oct. 16, 2018).

MDA first awarded a nine-year $784 million contract to develop and build LRDR in 2015 (Defense Daily, Oct. 21, 2015).

Last year, Japan selected the LRDR as the sensor for its two Aegis Ashore missile defense sites (Defense Daily, July 30, 2018).

Relatedly, in late 2018, MDA awarded the company a $585 million contract to design, manufacture, and construct the Homeland Defense Radar- Hawaii (Defense Daily, Dec. 20, 2018).

The Hawaii system will be made of one LRDR antenna face compared to the Clear, Alaska, site’s two faces. The agency plans for the Hawaii radar to better help the GMD system defend Hawaii from North Korean ballistic missile threats.