13 March 2018
Lockheed Martin completes acceptance test of first GaN-based TPS-77 Multi-Role Radar
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Security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, MD, USA has completed a site acceptance test of a TPS-77 Multi-Role Radar (TPS-77 MRR), marking on-time delivery of the first of three radars to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Latvia, and a step forward in strengthening Latvia’s national defense.
As with current production TPS-77s and other next-generation Lockheed Martin radars, the TPS-77 MRR uses gallium nitride (GaN) technology in its design. By uing GaN, the radar’s high-power amplifiers consume much less power, ultimately increasing reliability, lowering life-cycle costs and extending the useful life of the radar.
The TPS-77 MRR improves the Latvian Air Force’s airspace defense by increasing its low-level flight surveillance and identification capabilities, leading to enhanced early warning and situation awareness that can enable its armed forces to make more informed and efficient decisions in response to modern day threats.
The latest milestone is the most recent event in a 16-year partnership of radar development and training between Latvia and Lockheed Martin, including the 2015 contract for the three TPS-77 MRRs.
The TPS-77 MRR is the latest version in Lockheed Martin’s product line of surveillance radars and was developed in response to the evolving needs of armed forces on the battlefield. The radar’s multi-role single-scan technology allows operators to select multiple missions for the radar at a single time, such as long-range or medium-range low-level flight surveillance. As the radar rotates through each 360° scan, the system automatically adjusts to the selected mission. Changes can be easily made if the system is moved or mission is changed. Once set, no further operator inputs are required.
The TPS-77 MRR is designed for ultra-low power consumption and is the most transportable version of Lockheed Martin’s TPS-77 product line. Latvia’s variant of this radar can be truck mounted for operation at remote sites or dismounted for use at fixed sites.
As part of the TPS-77 MRR program, Lockheed Martin has engaged with local Latvian industry for procurement and production. These relationships will form the basis for long-term local maintenance and support of the new systems.
“The Latvian industry has been an important partner during the development and production of the Lockheed Martin TPS-77 MRRs. This support will help strengthen Latvia's Industrial Capability," said Rick Cordaro, program director, Lockheed Martin Ground Based Radar.
Lockheed Martin has produced and maintains more than 180 surveillance-range radars, all of which are operational around the world detecting targets at ranges up to 250 miles, 24 hours a day. There are three previously installed Lockheed Martin TPS-77 radars in Latvia, positioned in Čalas, Lielvārde and Audriņi. These radars can operate completely unmanned and many have performed for decades in remote, inhospitable areas and in a wide range of operational environments.