MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.— The Air Force by the end of this year is expected to issue its final request for proposal (RFP) for its next generation long-range radar that has also drawn the interest of the Marine Corps.
The Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) is intended to replace in 2019 the Air Force’s AN/TPS-75 radar for detecting and tracking enemy ballistic missiles. The Marines are looking to replace their AN/TPS-59s.
Lockheed Martin [LMT] is among the defense firms expected to compete for the contract to build 3DELRR. Until 3DELRR comes into service, Lockheed Martin, the original builder of the TPS-59s, will continue upgrading them for the Marines, Mark Mekker, the company’s program director for 3DELRR, said at the Modern Day Marine symposium here this week.
Lockheed Martin has experimented with energy saving gallium nitride-based, also known as GaN, power amplifiers on some TPS-59s. Lockheed Martin has been developing GaN technology with the intention of using it for 3DELRR, Mekker said.
3DELRR will be more suitable for the Marines than the current system because it is expeditionary, requires less set up time and manpower, and is affordable, Mekker said.
Raytheon [RTN] and Northrop Grumman [NOC] could also join the mix to compete for 3DELRR.