Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR)

- December 2016


In October 2015, Lockheed Martin won a quarter-billion-dollar ballistic missile defense contract to build and operate a solid-state long-range radar system called Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) near Fairbanks, Alaska.[1] Scheduled for deployment at Clear Air Force Station, LRDR will make up the backbone of the MDA’s layered defense architecture protecting the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attack. Once fielded, the radar will be integrated into the Command, Control Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) network.[2]

The Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) is a search, track and discrimination radar, that once operational, will be a component of the United States layered Missile Defense System (MDS) with the primary mission to provide continuous and precise tracking and discrimination of missile threats to the United States. Discrimination is a critical capability of missile defense, which will provide data to distinguish lethal objects from debris and decoys around the lethal object. The LRDR will be integrated into the MDS command and control system and will assist the military in assessing incoming threats to more efficiently activate land-based systems to intercept such threats.

What sets LRDR apart is its ability to provide metric data that improves the discrimination capability of ballistic missile defense systems. The radar will operate in conjunction with the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system and its advanced discrimination capabilities will enhance the effectiveness of Ground-based Interceptors (GBIs) by allowing for better differentiation between warheads, debris, decoys, and other objects within a ballistic missile threat cloud.

Current Developments

In early 2016, LRDR completed a successful system readiness review and an integrated baseline review. Construction for the Alaska LRDR site is set to begin in 2019 and the long-rang radar is scheduled to be integrated and operational within the Ballistic Missile Defense System in 2020.[3]

24 May 2020 – NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY  Request for Public Document Review for the Proposed Final Environmental Assessment for Long Range Discrimination Radar Performance Testing, Clear Air Force Station, Alaska.  Public Comment Period May 4, 2020 through June 2, 2020 https://www.mda.mil/global/documents/pdf/LRDR-Notice-of-Availability_20200504.pdf

Recent News


[1] http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2015/october/151023-mst-lockheed-martin-awarded-784-million-contract-to-build-ballistic-missile-defense-radar.html

[2] http://www.defensenews.com/articles/alaskas-long-range-discrimination-radar-on-track-for-2020

[3] http://www.defensenews.com/articles/alaskas-long-range-discrimination-radar-on-track-for-2020