Lockheed to outfit Predators with radar

Lockheed Martin won a contract from the Army to incorporate radar systems into Predator unmanned aerial vehicles through a contract worth $40 million over 32 months.

The company will work with the Army to incorporate low frequency synthetic aperture radar systems into Predator class unmanned aerial vehicles. The radar system, known as the Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter-Concealment Enabled Radar, or Tracer, addresses the Army's need to identify hidden targets, enemy equipment and facilities.

The development of the sensor technology follows the roadmap to smaller, more flexible and more powerful sensors to meet the growing demand for UAV intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

Work on the radar program includes the development, integration and test of two VHF/UHF dual-band synthetic aperture radar systems, which the company will build into Predator unmanned aerial vehicles. These dual-band, synthetic aperture radars can provide images to ground units in all-weather, day or night conditions and incorporate a data link that allows processed results to be downlinked to ground stations immediately.

Lockheed Martin will upgrade the associated ground stations that provide the mission planning and image exploitation. All work on the radar systems will be done at Lockheed Martin's Phoenix facility.

Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., has about 140,000 employees and had annual sales of $39.6 billion in 2006.

The company ranks No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of the largest federal IT contractors. The 2007 Top 100 list is due out May 14.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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