The Army has awarded Lockheed Martin an accelerated contract to produce five additional Sentinel A4 radars by the end of fiscal year 2022, which soldiers will use to test the upgrades in the A4 variant, the company announced Oct. 11.
“Once equipped with the Sentinel A4, our soldiers will operate in a more secure warfighting environment, improving capabilities against multiple evolving threats,” Troy Allen, the Army’s program manager for the Sentinel A4, said in the Lockheed press release. “The Lockheed Martin team truly understands the importance that this system holds for our warfighters.”
Lockheed completed production of its first Sentinel A4 in August, five months ahead of schedule, according to the press release.
“Even though the initial Sentinel A4 contract for 18 radars was awarded only two years ago, the Sentinel A4 team already completed production of the first A4 system this summer,” a Lockheed press release stated. “The first five systems of the original contract are expected to be delivered to the U.S. Army in March 2022.”
Sentinel A4 passed its critical design review in February, five months ahead of schedule. Sentinel is designed to detect low-flying threats, such as cruise missiles and helicopters, and the upgrades in the A4 variant are designed to improve detection of unmanned aerial vehicles.
The upgrades include a new digital, modular backbone of the radar, which Lockheed says will be more easily upgraded than previous systems.
Earlier this year, the Army identified the Sentinel radar as one of the “key enablers” for the priority modernization program. The second increment of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability will rely upon the Sentinel radar.
Lockheed beat Raytheon, the original Sentinel manufacturer, in 2019 for the A4 upgrade program. It won a $281 million contract that year, for what could be a $3 billion upgrade program.