Lockheed to Make More Counter Battery Radars

by: Matthew Potter
March 5, 2012

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Events, Lockheed Martin, missile defense, Northrop Grumman Corp., production program, Raytheon, Services, U.S. Army | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Army awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin (LMT)for new counter battery radars. This is continued production of an existing system, the AN/TPQ-53, which provides detection and warning of enemy artillery, mortar and rocket attacks. The system has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The option has a value of almost $900 million. The Firefinder radar is vehicle mounted and provides full coverage of an area.

One of the biggest threats to U.S. and allied installations during the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan was small scale rocket and mortar attacks. This next to the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) caused most of the U.S. casualties not from direct enemy contact.

Much thought and effort went into defense against these including the Counter-Rocket & Mortar (C-RAM) system from Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Raytheon (RTN). This was a version of the Phalanx ship based anti-missile gun and radar used in a ground mounting. It would detect and engage rockets and mortars and destroy them before they could impact the facility.

The use of expensive systems like the Firefinder and C-RAM indicate the seriousness of the threat and the U.S. desire to mitigate it.

Even as the FY13 budget with its potential cuts to defense spending is being debated the U.S. military continues to execute the FY12 spending plan which is seeing major contract awards and options being issued. As the U.S. leaves Afghanistan there is great potential for reductions in these types of contracts for equipment primarily used to support operations in those areas.

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