Comprehensive air defence offer
At AUSA 2017, Lockheed Martin held an exclusive media briefing, during which a comprehensive offer regarding air defence was presented.
The first element of the company’s briefing focused on the solid-state AESA AN/TPQ-53 radar system (also known as Q-53), which has been replacing the aging AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 medium-range radars in the U.S. Army’s inventory. A reminder was given that in April 2017 the US Army awarded the company with a contract for additional radars. In total Lockheed Martin was awarded contracts for more than 170 radars (the 100th was produced in January 2017). In total, roughly 170 AN/TPQ-53 radars will be delivered.
Currently the company has been modifying the radar, designed as artillery radars (or, according to US Army’s terminology as ‘Counterfire Target Acquisition Radars’), which means it will become a SHORAD radar as well, i.e. it will be able to efficiently detect and track UAVs and manned aircraft.
At AUSA 2017, Lockheed Martin also presented a ‘mini hit-to-kill’ missile (MHTK), which is intended to be the company’s proposal to the US Army’s request for a mobile, deployable C-RAM system. The IFPC (Integrated Fire Protection Capability) programme assumes that a system against the UAS threat will be developed before a C-RAM capability. According to the company, MHTK can engage rockets, artillery shells, mortar shells and UAS. The MHTK interceptor is less than 72cm in length and weighs about 2.2 kg at launch.
A third element of Lockheed Martin’s air-defence offer presented at AUSA 2017 included high-energy weapons (lasers). The company’s portfolio included the ATHENA and RELI laser systems – both considered by Lockheed Martin as complimentary to hit-to-kill missiles.
Dr. Robert Czulda