Design Engineering

Lockheed Martin shows off next-gen missile defense sensor tech


General Defense lockheed martin U.S. Army

This new tech will support a 360-degree capable sensor for the U.S. Army to address current and emerging air ballistic missile threats. 

Lockheed Martin has unveiled its latest sensor technology. The active electronically scanned array (AESA) Radar for Engagement and Surveillance (ARES) is a representative full-scale prototype. The company designed this new tech to support a 360-degree capable sensor for the U.S. Army to address current and emerging air ballistic missile threats.

The goal of this project is to eventually replace the Army’s aging Patriot MPQ-65 radar.

Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.

“Incremental upgrades to the existing Patriot radar no longer address current sustainment issues, current threat performance shortcomings, or provide growth for future and evolving threats,” said Mark Mekker, director of next generation radar systems at Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin’s next generation missile defense system will leverage advances in radar technology to provide a modular, scalable architecture and reduce the total cost of ownership well over its 30 year lifecycle.


The fractional array will be used to mature technology and verify performance to ensure uniform 360 degree threat detection and system performance.

Lockheed Martin’s active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology incorporates gallium nirtride (GaN) transmitter technology and advanced signal processing techniques including recently developed 360 degree sensor/fire control algorithms based on advanced threat sets.

The AESA technology is also in use in the AN/TP/Q-53 radar system, which Lockheed Martin designed, developed and delivered to the Army on an urgent need timeline in under 36 months, and which continues to be scaled to address emerging threats.

“Our solution for the U.S. Army’s new air and missile defense sensor is not a new-start program. It’s a combination of technology maturation over several years and includes capability leveraged from our current development programs and battlefield-proven radars. We rely heavily on our modern radar systems such as the Q-53 and the Long Range Discrimination Radar to rapidly bring low-risk, proven technology to the warfighter,” Mekker said. “We look forward to the opportunity to participate in this competition that will ultimately drive up performance and reduce costs for the U.S. Army.”

The company’s experience spans radar and signal processing, missile design and production, hit-to-kill capabilities, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as threat-representative targets for missile defense tests.


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