Friday, February 16, 2007

The Engineer: Romania upgrades radar

15 February 2007

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract by the Romanian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to upgrade five AN/FPS-117 long-range radars originally delivered to Romania in 1998 and 1999. The radars are used for air traffic control and strategic air surveillance. The upgrades will extend the service lives of the radars for up to 20 years.

When the upgrades are complete within 24 months, the electronics that provide each radar’s signal processing and data processing capability – currently housed in four cabinets – will be replaced with modernised electronics that fit in one cabinet. As a result, the radars will have the same capabilities and reliability as new AN/FPS-117 radars. The upgrades will be completed at Lockheed Martin’s Radar Systems facility in Syracuse, New York.

‘With these technology upgrades, there will be a fourfold reduction in components in each radar. This equates to improved reliability and maintainability, as well as a real reduction in life-cycle support costs,’ said Kevin Hines, Lockheed Martin program manager.

Romania is the third major European customer 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. In 2006, Lockheed Martin completed upgrades for eight AN/FPS-117 radars for the German Air Force.

Colonel Eng. Marin Mocanu of the Romanian MoD commented: ‘This upgrade is for our primary national air defence system. Eliminating obsolescence and maximising the radars’ capabilities will assist us with our applications in NATO and the European Union.’

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