Industry and Defence have been credited for their teamwork to upgrade the ageing fleet of Tactical Air Defence Radar Systems (TADRS).
The upgrade has delivered several "notable improvements" for RAAF air surveillance operators, including:
- Improved radar performance and reliability;
- Removal of hydraulic safety hazards;
- Improved supportability; and
- More agile and safe deployment capability.
The Surveillance and Control Logistics Management Unit’s commanding officer, Wing Commander Nick Grey, said it was critical for Defence and industry to work together.
“The success of this program was made possible by the close and trusting relationship developed between Lockheed Martin Australia Electronic Systems, the Surveillance and Control Systems Program Office, the operational units, and HQ 41 Wing,” WGCDR Grey said.
Lockheed Martin senior project manager Andrew Van de Ven said the company engaged a number of small-to-medium businesses to fabricate and deliver specialist products.
“This action has nurtured our local industry relationships and provided opportunities for smaller Australian businesses to prove their technology and manufacturing skills in a military environment,” Van de Ven said.
“The offset benefit for Defence is a lower cost and shorter turnaround for supply of parts that are maintained and sustained within the local community.”
Lockheed Martin Australia was awarded the contract to deliver the TADRS Block 3 Upgrade Project in 2014.
The upgrades were also an important milestone as the modifications were the first of its type to be completed outside of the Lockheed Martin Corporation facility in the US.
Four of the radar systems are operated and maintained by No. 3 Control and Reporting Unit and No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit.