On 26th August the United States Air Force (USAF) announced that it would imminently release a Request for Proposals (RfP) to cover the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase of the force’s Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) initiative.
The commencement of the EMD phase of the 3DLERR programme follows prototype demonstrations of competing radar designs as part of the 3DLERR Technology Development (TD) phase.
As ChainHomeHigh reported in October 2012, three companies, notably Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems Division, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were all awarded contracts to develop 3DLERR prototypes.
Northrop Grumman has said that it will base its design on technology developed for its AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). The AN/TPS-80 is equipping the United States Marine Corps with a deployable air surveillance radar which uses Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology.
Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin announced on 18th September 2012 that its functioning full-scale 3DLERR prototype; “addressed 100 percent of the 3DELRR requirements, including critical extended air surveillance reach for early warning for threats from aircraft and ballistic missiles.”
Raytheon revealed on 1st August 2013 that it had completed customer demonstrations of its 3DELRR offering. The company is proposing a C-band radar using Gallium Nitride components. The firm says that its prototype: “meets the customer’s requirements, has a high level of systems availability and … is extremely affordable to purchase, own and operate.”
The 3DELRR initiative will procure a new radar to replace the USAF’s legacy Westinghouse Defense and Electronics Division/Northrop Grumman AN/TPS-75 three-dimensional air surveillance radars. This S-band radar has a range of circa 444km (240nm).