Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Production of US Long Range Discrimination Radar to Begin this Year


(Photo : USAF) Long Range Discrimination Radar.

Production of the U.S. Air Force's new Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) -- the key system that will protect the U.S. from future ballistic missile attacks -- will begin later this year.

The LRDR will be deployed to Clear Air Force Station in Alaska in 2020. Clear AFS is a radar station for detecting incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles launched by Russia. It also provides space surveillance data to the U.S. Air Force Space Command's Space Control Center.

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The air force said LRDR, which is being developed by Lockheed Martin, recently passed the preliminary design review phase. This means the radar has moved past the developmental stage and is ready for production.

LRDR will be the backbone of America's future anti-ballistic missile defense.

It's a Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based, solid-state Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) long-range radar that will provide precision metric data to improve ballistic defense discrimination and replace existing sensors in the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

LRDR combines proven solid-state radar technologies with proven ballistic missile defense algorithms, all based upon an open architecture platform capable of meeting future growth.

This very large and powerful radar will support the ballistic missile defense system, primarily for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD) set-up to defend the continental U.S. against missile threats from North Korea and Iran.

It will be networked Lockheed's Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications system. Lockheed's other GaN projects include the Air Force's Space Fence to be built at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, and new long-range radar for the U.S Army.

LRDR will keep pace with evolving ballistic missile threats and increase the effectiveness of ground based interceptors.

The program is built upon the U.S. government's long-term investment in S-Band radar, ground-based radar, and systems integration, as evident in such Lockheed Martin technologies as the Aegis Combat System, Space Fence and Aegis Ashore.

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