Military Embedded Systems

Mobile air traffic control radar system for Air Force proposed by ARINC and Lockheed Martin


July 31, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

SYRACUSE, N.Y. A proposal for a transportable air traffic control (ATC) radar system designed to enable U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard units to quickly establish tactical military or disaster-relief airfield operations was submitted by officials at ARINC and Lockheed Martin.

Under the Deployable Radar Approach Control (D-RAPCON) program, Air Force officials will procure 19 ATC surveillance radar systems that can deploy within 48 hours worldwide by C-130 aircraft and be set up in under six hours. The total value of the program is expected to be more than $400 million.

“Our bid carefully balances the service’s need for off-the-shelf products that reduce risk in a budget constrained environment,” said Greg Larioni, vice president of radar surveillance systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “We have been designing and manufacturing transportable radars for decades with more than 100 systems deployed around the world today.”

The Lockheed Martin-ARINC team’s solution integrates systems such as Lockheed Martin’s TPS-79 tactical surveillance radar, its Microprocessor-En Route Automated Radar Tracking System (Micro-EARTS), and ARINC’s transportable ATC operations shelter.

At this time, Micro-EARTS is the only ATC display system certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for delivering terminal and en route ATC automation capabilities at FAA and Department of Defense (DoD) operational sites, as well as currently deployed Air Force expeditionary ATC systems, company officials say.

D-RAPCON will replace aging and difficult to maintain ATC systems in service, including the more than four-decades-old AN/TPN-19 landing control center. Ten D-RAPCON systems will go to the Air National Guard, seven to active-duty Air Force Space Command units, and one a piece to the Air Force’s ATC school and depot.


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