The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia and Lockheed Martin signed on the 5th of October a contract for three TPS-77 Multi-Role Radars (MRR) for use in air surveillance and to complement radar assets already in place.
“Purchase of “TPS-77” MRRs will mean a huge investment in the strengthening of defence capabilities of National Armed Forces and gives us the chance to act accordingly to modern threats facing all NATO countries,” emphasizes Minister of Defence of Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis.
“Early warning and situational awareness is a very important condition in the decision making process for an efficient response,” emphasizes Chief of Defence of Latvia, Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube. He also pointed out that surveillance, especially low-level flight surveillance and identification is a vital part of Latvian airspace surveillance capabilities.
“This multi-role radar program builds upon a 15-year partnership of radar development and training between Latvia and Lockheed Martin,” said Greg Larioni, vice president of Lockheed Martin Radar Surveillance Systems. “We look forward to building upon that history and continuing to support Latvia in achieving its missions. The Lockheed Martin team would also like to thank Senator Charles Schumer for his support in this important competitive international radar program.”
The TPS-77 MRR is designed for ultra-low power consumption and is the most transportable version of Lockheed Martin’s successful TPS-77 product line. Latvia’s variant of this high-performing radar can be truck mounted for operation at unprepared sites or dismounted for use at fixed sites.
The radar’s multi-role single scan technology allows operators to select specific roles for the radar such as long range or medium range low-level flight surveillance (including helicopter detection) in specific sectors. As the radar rotates through each 360 degree scan, the system automatically adjusts to the operator selected mission. Changes can be easily made if the system is moved or mission is changed. Once set, no further operator inputs are required.
As with current production TPS-77s and other next generation Lockheed Martin radars, the TPS-77 MRR uses Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology in its design. The GaN technology has already been installed and tested in operational radars. Utilizing GaN, the radars high power amplifiers consume much less power, ultimately increasing reliability, lowering life-cycle costs and extending the useful life of the radar. The Latvia TPS-77 MRRs will be delivered with a complete suite of GaN technology.
All new technology delivered in the MRR is backwardly compatible with fielded systems around the world. "Our focus on backward compatibility of new technology and verification before we offer a capability is unique in our market. We always provide a low risk, proven path forward for our customer’s deployed systems." said Larioni.
As part of the TPS-77 MRR program, Lockheed Martin will continue to engage with local Latvian industry for procurement and production. These relationships will form the basis for long-term local maintenance and support of the new systems after delivery.
There are already three Lockheed Martin TPS-77 radars in Latvia, positioned in Čalas, Lielvārde and Audriņi. A 2015 modernization program is underway to upgrade one of these radars.
Lockheed Martin has produced and maintains more than 175 surveillance-range radars, all of which are operational around the world detecting targets at ranges up to 250 miles, 24 hours a day. These radars are capable of operating completely unmanned and many have performed for decades in remote, inhospitable areas and in a wide range of operational environments.