Lockheed Martin USAF FPS-117 Radar Upgrades
posted by Paul Fiddian | 08.11.2011
Defence/aerospace firm Lockheed Martin has been contracted to upgrade almost 30 USAF radars used to supplying early warning and survey air traffic overflying the United States.
In so doing, Lockheed Martin will extend the AN/FPS-117 radar's operational service life until at least 2025.
The AN/FPS-117 radar has a range of up to 400 kilometres horizontally and 100,000 feet vertically. Examples serve within the North Warning System alongside other technologies, all aiding in the preservation of North American peace and all coming under the control of NORAD - the North American Aerospace Defence Command.
Lockheed Martin AN/FPS-117 Radar
The Lockheed Martin AN/FPS-117 radar was originally conceived as an element of the Seek Igloo North Warning project and, since entering service, has already been successively upgraded. This time, it will get modernised data and signal processors through an EPRP (Essential Parts Replacement Program) contract with a total value of $46.8m.
The AN/FPS-117 radar can operate autonomously and, for many years, examples have been functioning in isolated regions without human intervention. No other 3-D, solid-state radar is used more widely around the world, with it and its smaller derivative, the TPS-77, equipping a total of 25 nations.
FPS-117 Radar Upgrades
The Lockheed Martin EPRP FPS-117 radar upgrades will be undertaken over the next three years. They'll involve 11 radars positioned in Canada, 15 in Alaska and single examples in Utah, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
"Our open architecture approach to L-Band radars provides commonality in supporting and sustaining a fleet of more than 175 long-range radars operational around the world", Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Sensors EPRP program manager, Frank Mekker, stated in a company press release issued on 7 November 2011.
"Signal processing upgrades like EPRP are leveraged across this fleet, including the TPS-59, FPS-117, TPS-77, and even our Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar (3DELRR), to provide significant lifecycle cost savings for our customers", he added.
Armed Forces International covered the 3DELRR programme in a previous News Item.
FPS-117 Radar image copyright Lockheed Martin