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Syracuse NY: Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract by the Romanian Ministry of Defense (MoD) to significantly 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 15 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 modernized 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, NY.

“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 represented his country in negotiations for the upgrade contract. “This upgrade is for our primary national air defense system,” he said. “Eliminating obsolescence and maximizing the radars' capabilities will assist us with our applications to join NATO and the European Union.”

“These radars have demonstrated a greater-than-98 percent availability since their installation and the upgrades will help maintain that level of availability for at least another 15 years,” said Greg Larioni, Lockheed Martin's vice president for ground-based surveillance and airborne radar. “One of the biggest strengths we bring to our radar customers is the dependability of our products.”

The AN/FPS-117 is the world's most successful three-dimensional (3-D) solid-state radar design. This L-band radar provides continuous high-quality surveillance of air targets at ranges out to 250 miles. There are 127 AN/FPS-117 systems operational in 14 countries. Many have operated for years in remote areas, completely unmanned and in a wide range of operational environments.