Lockheed Martin successfully integrates AEGIS Ashore & LRDR technologies
On 11 January, Lockheed Martin announced that it had successfully connected key components of its AEGIS Ashore and Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) technologies. The AEGIS Ashore is the land-based ballistic missile defence adaptation of the proven AEGIS Combat System, and this demonstration was part of Lockheed Martin’s efforts in research and development to demonstrate that current and future versions of the system can simultaneously command tasking of the Lockheed Martin Solid State Radar (SSR) and receive target tracks from the radar.
The SSR is a scalable Gallium Nitrite (GaN) based radar building block, and the US Department of Defense’s newest Ballistic Missile Defence sensor, the LRDR, will use thousand such building blocks to provide enhanced target acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to the US Ballistic Missile Defence System.
Connecting the two mature systems, amounts to a low risk ‘technology refresh’ of the legacy SPY-1 antenna, resulting in:
• Ability to detect targets at longer distances
• Ability to combat larger numbers of targets simultaneously
• Additional target engagement opportunities
• Higher performance in complicated land environments
• Minimized interference with civilian or military radio emitters and receivers
• Increased use of the new SM-3 Block IIA missile’s performance
“The AEGIS Combat System is adaptable and flexible to address warfighting needs, which is one of the reasons the system is so widely used around the world,” said Michele Evans, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors. “As our customers look to update their technology with the help of their industrial bases, they are increasingly choosing alternative radars to equip their platforms. In challenging threat environments, we can deliver advanced capability at lower cost if we can be flexible and connect a variety of existing technologies.”
Weaving existing systems together is becoming more common to stay ahead of threats efficiently, by leveraging prior or concurrent investments in advanced technology.
The SSR, including very robust participation from Japanese industry with multi-purpose Fujitsu GaN, is one of the configuration options available to Japan for its upcoming Aegis Ashore installations. Because Lockheed Martin provides the AEGIS Ashore software and SPY-1 radar, its SSR can operate in a way that uses a common Integrated Air and Missile Defence Aegis baseline with the one recently purchased by Japan’s Ministry of Defence for its new destroyers.
LRDR completed its critical design review in 2017 and is on track to be operational in Alaska in 2020. The next phase of activity for AEGIS Ashore is to demonstrate simulated missile engagements with live tracking, scheduled for the first half of 2018.