Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 … and 4

To ensure U.S. forces are fully protected from indirect fire in theater, Lockheed Martin’s AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) Counterfire Target Acquisition radar recently completed a fourth round of developmental testing. With a fifth and final round scheduled for early 2015, this internal Lockheed Martin testing will lead to an Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) by the U.S. Army, tentatively scheduled for the second quarter of 2015.
“Our focus is on saving the lives of warfighters. While we have a strong track record of successful deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, we continue to refine and improve the radar and its capabilities. We want to ensure the system meets evolving operational demands and emerging global threats.”
Lee Flake, program director for counterfire target acquisition radar programs at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Training business.
The Q-53 counterfire target acquisition radar is a new generation of counterfire sensor, featuring a solid-state phased array that detects, classifies, tracks and determines the location of enemy indirect fire in either 360- or 90-degree modes. It is replacing the aging AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 medium-range radars now in the Army’s inventory.

During the last several months, the Lockheed Martin team has made the following improvements as a result of initial IOT&E testing that took place in April 2014:

– Enhanced the Q-53 software. The software changes allow the radar to better accommodate environmental factors that can affect the detection of threats, such as wind-blown debris or temperature changes and reduce the system’s false location rate.

Increased the ability to detect and defeat cyber security attacks. The Q-53 has been subjected to multiple, world-class, leading-edge cyber threats, an area of increasing focus for the U.S. military.

Increased reliability. While the radar has exceptional operational availability, during the most recent tests, the Q-53 had only one failure in 428 hours – a performance that exceeds the threshold requirement for the radar. 

“In recent tests simulating IOT&E’s challenging and intense environment, the Q-53 radar performed exceptionally well in all areas,”
said Flake
Since Lockheed Martin competitively won the development contract for the Q-53 radar in 2007, the company has won three additional contracts (for a total of 101) and delivered 58 systems to the U.S. Army. Work on the radars is performed at Lockheed Martin facilities in Syracuse, N.Y., Moorestown, N.J. and Clearwater, Fla. The Army is expected to award a full-rate production contract in 2015, covering an anticipated 77 additional systems.
“We are immensely proud of developing radar that has saved the lives of countless soldiers in theater, and we look forward continuing to provide this vital system to protect our soldiers,”
said Flake