SALINA, N.Y. — The Salina plant of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) has produced the 100th AN/TPQ-53 radar system under its contract for the equipment with the U.S. Army.
The defense contractor on Monday took local reporters on a tour of the production facility to see the radar and answer questions about its work on the contract.
Lockheed Martin is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.
The firm’s locations in Salina and in Owego started building the Q-53 radars in 2007 and deployed them to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010, Rick Herodes, director for the Q-53 counter-fire radar program at Lockheed Martin, said in speaking with reporters at the Salina plant.
“We’re on contract right now for 104 radars. We complete the 104th radar this summer, and we’re in negotiations for 70 more with the [U.S.] Army. Beyond that, we expect to have international contracts under what we call FMS, or foreign-military sales, for our allies,” said Herodes.
The radar’s eventual destination is up to the U.S. Army, he says.
The U.S. Army has used the radar system has been in combat since 2010. They assist military personnel with an early warning on rockets, artilleries, and mortars.
“[It] lets [them] know where they came from and lets [them] know where they’re going to land,” he says.
They also provide a “protective umbrella over our soldiers,” he added.
It takes Lockheed Martin employees about 18 months to produce a Q-53 radar, according to Herodes.
Monday’s meeting with reporters preceded an event scheduled for Tuesday at the Salina plant to acknowledge the firm’s employees and its vendors for the work on Q-53 contract, and to thank the U.S. Army for awarding the contract, Herodes noted.
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