SYRACUSE, N.Y.–Following the upcoming delivery of the first five Sentinel A4 radars to the Army, a Lockheed Martin [LMT] program official said on Monday the company is planning for delivery of the second group of five radars in July 2023.

Mark Mekker, Lockheed Martin’s program director for Army radars, told reporters during a media visit here at the company’s manufacturing facility that production on the last of the first five Sentinel A4s is about to be completed, before the Army receives the radars for operational testing.

Sentinel A4. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

“They’ll take it through every operational condition that’s out there. They’ll revalidate some of the requirements that we’ve validated here on our test ranges. They’ll be operating the radar, testing the radar, and we’ll be standing behind them,” Mekker said.

Lockheed Martin completed production of the first Sentinel A4 last summer, with Mekker noting the Army’s testing of the first group of five Sentinel A4 radars is expected to last eight to 12 months.

In October, Lockheed Martin said 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).

“Last year, because of the progress we were making on the program, the Army felt comfortable enough with the program to order five additional systems early. These are going to be what are called user evaluation systems,” Mekker said.

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

The upgraded version of the 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 A4 will replace the Sentinel A3, which was built by Thales and Raytheon Technologies [RTX].