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A new stage on the way to improve the US. defense against ballistic missile threat. The US Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) program has completed delivery of the first 10 antenna panels to Clear, Alaska, that will make up the first of the system’s two radar antenna arrays. The system will serve as a critical sensor within MDA’s layered defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks.

The two radar antenna arrays will be comprised of a total of 20 panels, each about 27 feet tall, measuring approximately four stories high and wide. Temporary structures have been assembled in front of the radar facility to ensure the panels are installed on schedule, regardless of weather conditions. The installation and integration of the radar system began last year and will be followed by the transition to the testing period.

LRDR combines proven solid state radar (SSR) technologies with proven ballistic missile defense algorithms, all based upon an open architecture platform capable of meeting future growth. The system will provide around-the-clock threat acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats. 

Lockheed Martin continues to successfully achieve all program milestones as it works towards delivering the radar to MDA in 2020, according to the company’s announcement. Over 66% of program technical requirements have already been verified at the company’s Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS). “We have successfully reduced a large amount of risk to ensure fielding of this critical capability on schedule in 2020,” says Chandra Marshall, director of Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense and Space Surveillance Radar programs.

The LRDR program is built upon S-Band radar technology and is the latest in a long line of S-Band radars developed by the company, including the Aegis Combat System, Space Fence and Aegis Ashore.