Italian Air Force Awards $14.6 Million Contract to Lockheed Martin to Improve Country's Radar Links
SYRACUSE, NY, August 6th, 2002 -- Lockheed Martin announced today that it has received a $14.6 million contract from the Italian Air Force to install and support a remote monitoring, diagnostic and maintenance system for radars. The system will be the most sophisticated of its kind in Europe and will be based at the Italian Air Force radar depot in Borgo Piave, Italy. "This will enhance the capabilities of Italy's radar network while at the same time, centralizing the support function and reducing the amount of time required to maintain the systems," observed Ed Lane, director, radar product support at Lockheed Martin's Syracuse, N.Y., facility.
Currently, four Lockheed Martin AN/FPS-117 long-range radars operate at individual sites in Italy, providing air surveillance for the Air Force. Each site has its own staff of technicians and maintenance personnel and keeps an inventory of spare parts. There are other radar sites as well, all operating independently of the Borgo Piave depot, and infrequently sharing information that might prove useful to the other sites.
Col. Antonio Tangorra, the senior officer at the Borgo Piave depot, and his colleagues call their new logistics system Performance-Based Manufacturer-Enhanced Logistics Support, or PBMELS. "We need our technicians to spend more time being soldiers. Not only will PBMELS gather operating data from all the sites, but it also will link information so we can track spare parts, evaluate radar and parts reliability, and see how well radars have been repaired. This will save time and money and increase the availability of the equipment."
In addition to installing the software for the new logistics management system and a remote maintenance center, Lockheed Martin will install an electronic classroom at the depot for training. It also will upgrade the existing data processors in the AN/FPS-117s with the current production system, replace the current command and control displays with new commercial consoles, and add new diagnostic information so the depot can provide in-depth analysis and troubleshooting.
Lane said the new logistics management system that Lockheed Martin will provide will be similar to existing systems used by the U.S., Canadian and British Air Forces. In the case of the U.S. Air Force, its sites along the Canadian border are unmanned and operated remotely. "As the Borgo Piave depot gains responsibility, it can analyze a radar failure remotely or we can even link in from Syracuse, " said Lane. "For example, we've had a dozen calls from the U.S. Air Force since its system was upgraded and we've been able to fix nine of the problems from here."
Training, upgrading and installation at the Italian radar sites and depot began in May 2002 and will continue for 24 months.