On November 16, the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) passed the Missile Defense Agency’s Critical Design Review (CDR). The completion of the CDR means that hardware and software components have achieved Technology Readiness Level 7 and Manufacturing Readiness Level 7, and are ready to enter the fabrication, demonstration, and testing phase of the program. To this effect, the program began low-rate manufacturing in October, and is preparing to begin full-rate manufacturing in mid-2018. The system is scheduled to go online in Clear AFS, Alaska in 2020.
The LRDR is a long-range S-band radar system that will improve tracking and discrimination of ballistic missile threats by better identifying warheads, decoys, and debris. The radar has been designed with an open systems architecture to accommodate future technology developments.