Radar Provides Soldiers 360-Degree Coverage

U.S. Army awards Lockheed Martin contract options for Q-53 radar to provide enhanced protection against incoming fire



For decades, militaries faced off against enemies on defined front lines.  Counterfire radars were designed to scan 90-degree sectors of air space to help protect troops from indirect fire – rockets, mortars and artillery – coming from one direction.

More recent asymmetric warfare conflicts against insurgent forces quickly demanded a new level of protection for troops.

Lockheed Martin’s new AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) Counterfire Target Acquisition radar provides soldiers with enhanced 360-degree protection from indirect fire.  Successfully deployed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2010, the U.S. Army sees a bright future for the radar.

The Army recently executed two contract options with Lockheed Martin for 33 Q-53s – formerly known as the EQ-36 during the radar’s development and initial production phase – valued at $391 million.

 “The Q-53 is in production and has been battlefield-proven by the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Lee Flake, program director for counterfire target acquisition radar programs at Lockheed Martin. “The radar detects, classifies and tracks enemy indirect fire, as well as locating its source, in either 360- or 90-degree modes that give soldiers greater protection than ever before.”

The contract options call for the delivery of the 33 Q-53 radar systems by the end of 2014. The options include spares, testing and training materials.  If all options are exercised, 38 additional low- and full-rate production systems could be added, bringing the total contract value to more than $800 million.

The Q-53’s 360-degree coverage gives soldiers greater protection than ever before. In addition, it reduces the manpower required to operate the radar and the time it takes to set-up. Mounted on a five-ton truck, the Q-53 can be rapidly deployed and operated remotely with a laptop computer or from the fully equipped climate-controlled command vehicle.

Lockheed Martin won the competitive development contract for the EQ-36 radar in 2007. Responding to urgent needs statements and following early program successes, the Army awarded the company an accelerated contract for 12 initial production systems in 2008 and another with options for an additional 20 systems in April 2010. In fall of that year, EQ-36 systems began deploying to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lockheed Martin submitted its bid in open competition for this current contract last September.

Posted April 30, 2012