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Lockheed Martin Syracuse lands Army radar deal worth up to $1.6 billion

AN/TPQ-53 Radar System (Lockheed Martin/Released)

Lockheed Martin’s plant in suburban Syracuse has landed a U.S. Army contract extension worth up to $1.6 billion to produce radars that detect incoming rocket, mortar and artillery fire.

If the Army exercises all of its options in the five-year deal, it would be one of the largest contracts on record for Lockheed’s plant at Electronics Park in Salina.

The contract culminates a week that brought a historic surge in business for Lockheed’s Salina plant.

The U.S. Air Force on Tuesday selected Lockheed Martin to begin producing a new generation of long-range radars. That deal is expected to be worth at least $1.3 billion over 10 years and will help create or sustain hundreds of jobs.

The Army deal for Q-53 radars disclosed by the Department of Defense on Thursday night allows for the U.S. and foreign military partners to purchase the systems as needed through March 30, 2027.

The Army and foreign militaries spent about $1.58 billion on the initial five-year contract for Q-53 radars signed in 2017. At the time, that was the largest contract in the history of the Central New York plant.

As of this year, Lockheed Marin has delivered 189 of the radar systems to the Army, said Kelly Vann, a company spokesperson.

Vann said the new five-year deal will help sustain existing jobs at Lockheed’s Electronics Park campus.

Lockheed’s local employment has grown with the surge in business to 1,961 people as of this week, up from about 1,600 eight years ago. The company is one of Central New York’s largest employers.

As of Friday, Lockheed Martin Syracuse had more than 100 job openings for high-paying engineering jobs, including radar engineers, software engineers, systems engineers and quality engineers.

The local plant is also hiring to fill manufacturing and management jobs, from entry level to senior staff positions.

The Q-53 radars (part of the Counter Fire Target Acquisition Radar System) are manufactured at four Lockheed plants in Salina, Owego, N.Y., Morristown, N.J. and Clearwater, Fla.

Vann said all of the radar systems will be shipped to the Salina plant for final assembly.

The Q-53 radars are mounted on a 5-ton Army truck and can be rapidly deployed and remotely operated with a laptop computer or from a command vehicle.

The mobile radar systems can automatically detect enemy mortar, artillery or rocket fire from any direction, predict where an incoming round will strike and indicate where the round originated.

The Army first used the radars in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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