Lockheed Martin Celebrates Production of the 100th Block 3 SPDP Cabinet for the Ground Based Air Surveillance Programs
In early November of 2016, the Lockheed Martin Ground Based Air Surveillance (GBAS) team celebrated production of the 100th Block 3 Signal Processing Data Processing (SPDP) Cabinet, which is comprised of the latest cutting edge technology.
The 100th cabinet will be put into operation in the Australian, Tactical Air Defense Radar System (TADRS) TPS-77. Air Commodore Gary Martin, Air Attaché Australian Embassy, visited Lockheed Martin Syracuse to mark the event.
“It was a pleasure to visit the Lockheed Martin Syracuse facility and celebrate the production of the 100th Block 3 SPDP cabinet,” said Air Commodore Gary Martin, Air Attaché Australian Embassy, “this cabinet has enhanced many radar systems already and now it will do the same in Australia, where the improved TPS-77 system will be a critical component in our air defense network.”
“This cabinet has enhanced many radar systems already and now it will do the same in Australia, where the improved TPS-77 system will be a critical component in our air defense network.”
- Air Commodore Gary Martin, Air Attaché Australian Embassy
Getting to Block 3 of the SPDP cabinet was a journey that involved innovation, continuous improvement, and teamwork. This journey started in 2005 when the team in Syracuse was challenged to design an SPDP cabinet that could be used in three different radar systems; the TPS 59, TPS-77 and FPS-117. These radars, produced by Lockheed Martin, are currently fielded in 17 different countries around the world.
When the United States Marine Corps (USMC) was looking to update their TPS-59 radar systems, because of obsolescence in the signal and data process area, the GBAS team stepped up to the task. The team invested in the design and prototype of a new cabinet. After a successful demonstration, the USMC awarded the shelter refresh program to Lockheed Martin.
In the meantime, Lockheed Martin started transitioning TPS-77 and FPS-117 radars to the Block 3 SPDP cabinet as well. The first Block 3 SPDP cabinet was installed and tested in the Middle East as part of an FPS-117 upgrade program in 2010.
Since that first installation, Lockheed Martin has produced over 100 Block 3 SPDP cabinets that have been used in upgrades to the established radar base worldwide as well as in the development and delivery of new TPS-77 / TPS-77 Multi-Role Radar (MRR) radar systems that are currently in production.
The Block 3 SPDP cabinet was built to open architecture standards and provides the radars higher data processing speeds, reduces the internal replaceable components from 29 to 11, resolves older cabinet obsolescence issues, and provides commonality across the GBAS product family. The cabinet also includes a programmable signal processor which allows multiple waveforms to be utilized. This gives operators the option to choose sectorized multi mission capability and supports interfaces to next generation antenna technology.
Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin received an order to upgrade the four Australia TPS-77 systems with the Block 3 SPDP. This contract resulted in the third system manufactured being the 100th SPDP cabinet off the production line.
“We’re incredibly proud of our radar systems and how they are used around the world to keep people safe,” said Bob Rosati, Ground Based Air Surveillance Product Line Manager, “Through innovative upgrades, such as the Block 3 SPDP cabinet, we are able to keep these radars functioning efficiently and successfully for our customers, for many years to come.”
All of Lockheed Martin’s TPS-59, FPS-117, TPS-77 and TPS-77 MRR radar systems, of which there are over 180 in the world, continue to operate as designed. No system has ever been taken out of service and the radars regularly advance through new technology and sustainment opportunities. The radars have demonstrated they are capable of performing well past their original service lives.