Lockheed Martin [LMT] announces it has completed upgrading the signal processing and data processing capability on the first two of five AN/FPS-117 long- range, air surveillance radars for the Romanian Air Force.

The work, completed at Lockheed Martin’s Radar Systems facility in Syracuse, N.Y., included upgraded platform electronics cabinets, new displays and remote maintenance centers.

A site acceptance test for the third system is planned for later this month. The formal site acceptance tests, including flight tests, were successfully completed on June 26 and July 23 in Romania.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract by the Romanian Ministry of Defense in December 2006 to significantly upgrade five AN/FPS-117s originally delivered to Romania in 1998 and 1999.

The radars are used for strategic air surveillance and air traffic control.

The remaining upgrades will be installed within the next six months. This action will extend the service lives of the radars for 15 to 20 years.

“The radar’s electronics originally were housed in four cabinets within two shelters,” Rose Sweeney, Lockheed Martin program manager, said. “The upgraded systems include modernized electronics that fit in one cabinet and a single shelter, making the systems easier to transport and maintain. With these technology upgrades, there also will be improved reliability, as well as a real reduction in life-cycle support costs.”

Romania is the third major European customer for whom Lockheed Martin has extended the service life of existing radars. The United Kingdom contracted with the company for similar upgrades for two of its long-range radars. In 2006, Lockheed Martin completed upgrades for eight AN/FPS-117 radars for the German Air Force.

The AN/FPS-117 is a three-dimensional (3-D) solid-state radar design. This L-band radar provides continuous high-quality surveillance on air targets at ranges out to 250 miles. There are 127 AN/FPS-117 systems operational in 14 countries. Many have operated for years in remote areas, completely unmanned and in a wide range of operational environments.