Aerospace & Defense

Information Technology


Emerging Capabilities

2015 Ground Based Radar Users Conference


Question: With a customer base spread throughout the world, what is the best way to make sure Lockheed Martin radar users have access to the latest best practices, training and technology?

Answer: Bring them all together in one place and provide them the information they need to best operate their Lockheed Martin surveillance radars now and into the future.

In November of 2015, Lockheed Martin hosted its triennial International Ground Based Radar Users Conference and invited its current long-range radar customers to network with other users, share experiences and learn how to extend radar life cycles. The event also provided a platform for Lockheed Martin to showcase its latest innovations and technologies in the field of radar technology.

“We’ve found that our customers appreciate us creating a forum for all users to come together and share their experiences,” said Mark Mekker, director, Surveillance Radar at Mission Systems and Training. “Everyone who attends comes away with ideas on how to better utilize, service and maintain their radar investments.”

This year, more than 80 customers representing 20 nations came to Orlando, Florida, to participate in the event. While much of the agenda focused on daily operational needs, new technology dominated the conversation.

Conference attendees learned more about the new TPS-77 Multi-Role Radar and witnessed the unveiling of TPY-X, Lockheed Martin’s next generation of long-range radar. TPY-X represents the latest solid-state L-band radar system with increased radar performance and capabilities over previous iterations. A full-scale prototype was on site for customers to see coupled with a presentation on the benefits of the new product. Customers learned that one of the main components of TPY-X, the digital array row transceiver (DART), is now available for all current users and fielded products.

“With customers all over the world, this event is an invaluable tool to ensure we are doing all we can to make them successful,” Mark said. “While I’m sure customers learn from our presentations and from each other, we learn just as much from them about how we can improve to serve them better.”

Lockheed Martin has produced and maintains more than 175 surveillance-range radars, all of which are operational around the world detecting targets at ranges up to 250 miles, 24 hours a day. These radars are capable of operating completely unmanned and many have performed for decades in remote, inhospitable areas and in a wide range of operational environments. No Lockheed Martin FPS-117, TPS-77 or TPS-59 radar has ever been taken out of service and the systems continue to operate well beyond their original 20-year service lives (many planned to operate for more than 40 years). This longevity is a direct result of continuous Lockheed Martin investment in state-of-the-art technology and dedication to customer success.