Lockheed Martin upgrade to extend life of Kuwait radar

SYRACUSE, N.Y.,6 April 2009. Lockheed Martin won a contract by the Kuwait Ministry of Defense to significantly upgrade the Kuwait air force AN/FPS-117 long-range radar originally delivered in 1993.

The radar is used for air traffic control and strategic air surveillance. The upgrades will extend the service life of the radar for 15 to 20 years.

The contract also provides for maintenance services and training for both the existing radar as well as the Preliminary Early Warning System (PEWS), which combines multiple sensors to assist with air surveillance in the region.

When the upgrade is complete, the electronics that provide the radar's signal processing and data processing capability will be replaced with modernized electronics that fit in one cabinet, Lockheed Martin officials say. As a result, the radar will have the same capabilities and reliability as a new AN/FPS-117. The work, which will take place at Lockheed Martin's facility in Syracuse, N.Y., also includes an upgrade of the secondary surveillance radar that enhances the system's tracking capability.

"There will be a fourfold reduction in components in this upgraded radar and that will result in improved reliability and maintainability, as well as reduced life-cycle support costs," says Frank Mekker, Jr., Lockheed Martin program manager.

Kuwait is one of several customers for whom Lockheed Martin has extended the service life of existing radars. The United Kingdom contracted with the company for similar upgrades for two of its long-range radars, and in 2006, Lockheed Martin completed upgrades for eight AN/FPS-117 radars for the German Air Force. Similar upgrades have been completed on five Romanian radars.

The AN/FPS-117 L-band radar provides continuous high-quality surveillance of air targets. There are 127 AN/FPS-117 systems operational in 14 countries. Many have operated for years in remote areas, completely unmanned and in a wide range of operational environments.

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