USAF’s first truly software-defined radar by Lockheed is ready

WASHINGTON — A few days ago, the American company Lockheed Martin announced that the TPY-4 radar completes production. In the coming months, after passing the mandatory tests, TPY-4 will enter service with the US Air Force as the latest C4ISR system in the country’s air defense. The company says that they are ready to start production for foreign customers upon request.

USAF's first truly software-defined Lockheed radar is ready
Photo: Lockheed Martin

AN / TPY-4 is the world’s first truly software-defined radar. Lockheed says the AN / TPY-4 works with an “unprecedented software-defined sensor architecture.” AN / TPY-4 will be able to be easily integrated into various air defense systems built on open architectures. The radar will be easy to navigate for future advanced missions thanks to software-controlled “digital transmitters and receivers, providing flexibility to quickly change performance”. AN / TPY-4 is a multi-mission radar, according to Lockheed Martin, and will allow operators to easily switch from one mission to another.

AN / TPY-4 has already been selected by the US Air Force. It is part of the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar [3DELRR] Rapid Prototyping program. AN / TPY-4 can participate in air defense as a fixed radar device or be transported by C-130, C-17, truck, rail, or helicopter. Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace [KDA], which supplies the platform electronic subsystem [PES], is also involved in building the radar.

Germany may be interested

On March 18, we reported that Berlin was seriously considering increasing the response and effectiveness of its anti-aircraft missile systems. The war in Ukraine has led Chancellor Schultz’s new government to demand that the existing Patriots be significantly modernized. AN / TPY-4 is an opportunity to become part of the modernization, experts say, although Berlin is talking about the purchase of brand new air defense systems, including the Israeli Arrow 3.

Germany may buy the Israeli Arrow 3 hypersonic ABM interceptor
Photo credit: The Times of Israel

The AN / TPY-4 has its key features: it can easily detect easy and difficult targets, Lockheed says, radar can work in extreme weather conditions, and the device’s all-digital system allows it to quickly adjust to combat emerging threats.

Rick Herodes, director of ground-based air surveillance radars at Lockheed Martin, says AN / TPY-4 is the result of the company’s strong commitment to investing in new solutions and technologies. “TPY-4 meets the needs of rapidly changing battlefields, marked by technological growth and the emergence of increasingly challenging threats,” Herodes concluded.

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