Lockheed teams with Northrop on new radar system

Lockheed Martin Corp. has chosen Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. as its primary teammate and subcontractor in the competition to develop the Air Force's space-based radar system, the company said.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin has been under contract to the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center since December 2002, performing studies and defining alternative concepts for the SBR system.

The Air Force intends to award two 24-month study contracts in May to continue definition of SBR system requirements and evaluate alternative design concepts for the system architecture. The value of those contracts was not immediately known.

The SBR system will provide surveillance and reconnaissance worldwide for Defense Department and national intelligence agencies. It is scheduled to launch in 2012.

As the competing prime contractor for the next phase of the program, Lockheed Martin will provide end-to-end systems integration and lead the program's space and ground segments. Northrop Grumman will help design the space-based radar payload and provide space-to-space communications system solutions. Northrop Grumman will also contribute expertise in tactical surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

"I am very pleased that our companies are working together to develop a fully integrated systems design for space-based radar that, unquestionably, will be of critical importance and use to military and national users," said G. Thomas Marsh, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver.

With 2003 sales of $31.8 billion, Lockheed Martin ranked No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2003 Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue. Northrop Grumman ranked No. 2.

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