Meet One of the Radars Designed to Keep the Middle East Safe

Meet One of the Radars Designed to Keep the Middle East Safe
March 09, 2022

5 Truths: A Mature Radar for International
Integrated Air & Missile Defense Solutions

The Lockheed Martin Persistent Discrimination Radar (PDR) is an essential, mature defense radar sensor that provides for long range Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) search and early warning while keeping national interests safe from various threats. It is another innovation from the Lockheed Martin Radar Center of Excellence – bringing an unmatched history and technology expertise to international Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD). Descended from the Missile Defense Agency’s Program of Record, the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR), Lockheed Martin’s PDR is specifically designed to meet complex international requirements.

In December 2021, the MDA announced the initial fielding of LRDR and MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill stated the “LRDR will allow Northern Command to better defend the United States from ballistic missile threats." Once fully operational, the radar will provide unparalleled ability to simultaneously search and track multiple small objects, including all classes of ballistic missiles, at very long ranges, under continuous operation. 

For more than 100 years, Lockheed Martin has worked with customers to fight and win in highly contested environments featuring advanced threats. These battlespaces have grown more complex as adversaries have evolved their strategies and capabilities to threaten economic prosperity and national security across all warfighting domains – air, land, sea, space and cyber. Lockheed Martin’s vision is designed to leverage emerging technologies to create an interoperable and resilient network-of-platforms that serves as a flexible, formidable and decisive force multiplier.

Enter the Lockheed Martin PDR. 

1: Always On – That Means 24/7/365

The Lockheed Martin PDR performs up to 360 degree long range search, early warning precision tracking and discrimination of ballistic missiles, at the same time as search and track of cruise missiles, unmanned air vehicles, and aircraft – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, this radar is always ready to defend. During maintenance, software upgrades, you name it, Lockheed Martin PDR is scanning, detecting, tracking, alerting, and protecting the country from attack. There is no periodic maintenance downtime, ensuring protection at all times.

2: PDR Has Proven Itself

The technology is part of a family of radars with decades of successful experience. The LRDR and Lockheed Martin PDR use Aegis BMD and SPY-1 radar IAMD algorithms already proven in over 40 successful BMD flight test missions. That success has been widely documented in leading news agencies.

Lockheed Martin PDR uses the same radar building block as LRDR – the SPY-7 technology is the critical foundation to these radars. Using common technology across multiple platforms accelerates production time and reduces lifetime cost.

Lockheed Martin’s PDR can also integrate with national strategic command and control (C2) systems. 

3: Elite Engineering Institution Recommend S-Band Over UHF

A recent trade study with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory resulted in a recommendation and selection of S-Band for the next generation of long-range BMD radar –LRDR. S-Band radars efficiently provide comprehensive early warning and multi-mission capability over all operational environments. This generation of radars will ultimately replace ageing UHF radars. 

4: Improves Existing Assets

The Lockheed Martin PDR uses leading technological advancements such as digital beamforming, polarization diversity and software-defined multi-mission capabilities that support a larger national or allied IAMD system.  Lockheed Martin PDR is designed to work with and enhance the performance of horizon and regional defense radars.

Many nations rely on in-country and allied assets, such as Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD), for BMD and need solutions that work with those national security systems that are already in place. Lockheed Martin PDR can acquire and track large numbers of threats and identify lethal warheads at very long ranges. This significantly improves the performance of existing systems against large numbers of simultaneous threats.

5: Readiness Level Assessment is a must for Radars

Testing and readiness level assessments are important to fielding leading technology like Lockheed Martin PDR. The U.S. Government has rigorously tested the technology that is the backbone of the Lockheed Martin PDR and has rated it at a Technical Readiness Level 7(TRL-7) and Manufacturing Readiness Level 8 (MRL-8).  This means that Lockheed Martin PDR radars have been thoroughly tested in operational environments and have been approved for low rate initial production through demonstrated production capability.  Lockheed Martin PDR is mature and ready for installation.