A Defense Department group awarded Lockheed Martin [LMT] a contract for the technology maturation of a Patriot Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) prototype, the company said Thursday.

The DoD’s Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC) is commissioned by the under secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L), and is a department initiative to smooth collaboration between academia, industry, and government for prototyping and technology development.

Lockheed Martin’s AESA ARES radar technology demonstrator using gallium nitride (GaN) technology. Photo: Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin’s AESA ARES radar technology demonstrator using gallium nitride (GaN) technology. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

In this case, DOTC funding will be used for efforts that will further define performance requirements, mature technology, and reduce risk for the LTAMDS program, the company said. Specifically, it will help mature Lockheed’s Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar for Engagement and Surveillance (ARES) prototype

The company said it is using the ARES prototype investment program to mature technology and capabilities needed for the future LTAMDS mission. DOTC and internal company funding “will continue to mature technology for the prototype, including AESA and dual-band technology,” Lockheed said in a statement.

The ARES prototype is set to include mature Gallium Nitride transmitter technology and advanced signal processing techniques like a 360-degree rotational capability.

The company showed off the ARES at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in August as its bid to replace the Patriot MPQ-65 radar and said it is built on a modular and scalable architecture to scale to Army requirements. The MPQ-65 is jointly made by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon [RTN].

Lockheed Martin noted its AESA radar technology is currently used by the AN/TPQ-53 radar.

“Receiving DOTC funding is indicative of the rapid capability need the LTAMDS will fill for the U.S. Army. Lockheed Martin is ready to leverage our significant experience, Active Electronically Scanned Array technology and sensor capabilities in the LTAMDS concept definition phase to accelerate much needed enhanced capability to the warfighter,” Mark Mekker, director of next generation radar systems at Lockheed Martin, said in a statement.

Mekker argued a new radar/sensing option for LTAMDS is needed because it is not efficient or cost-effective to continue to upgrade the Patriot MPQ-65 radar.

A next generation LTAMDS radar will leverage recent advances in radar technology to provide a cost effective, scalable, long term solution that can address current threats and adapt to emerging and future threats,” he added.