Q-53 Counterfire Radar System for the U.S. Army; image courtesy of Lockheed MartinLockheed Martin and Qorvo Team Up to Manufacture DoD Trusted Source Technology

    Lockheed Martin and Qorvo have teamed up for the last decade to create trusted source microelectronics for the U.S. military’s top systems. One example is the AN/TPQ-53, or Q-53, counterfire radar. To date, more than 100 systems have been manufactured for the United States Army.

    Acquiring the Target

    Developed as a replacement for the AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37, the Q-53 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar detects, locates and classifies incoming rockets and mortars, allowing time for shelter and counterfire opportunities. First in to the battlefield and last out, the Q-53 is highly mobile and can be set up rapidly to provide counterfire target acquisition.

    The Lockheed Martin-Qorvo team manufactures five MMICS used in the TR-module antenna phased array radar. The AN/TPQ-53 counterfire radar system is comprised of two vehicles. One truck, the Mission Essential Group, contains the radar antenna and power generator; the second truck, the Sustainment Group, carries the operations shelter and backup power generator.

    Q-53 Counterfire Radar System for the U.S. Army; image courtesy of U.S. ArmyManufacturing Trusted Source Technology

    To manufacture this secure, mobile technology, Qorvo’s in-house foundry — an MRL 9 facility — provides key partners, like Lockheed Martin, accreditation as a Category 1A "Trusted Source" supplier for the U.S. Department of Defense.

    In the Q-53, Qorvo provides GaAs solutions for its S-band solid-state phased array radar. Qorvo provides integrated assembly and highly-specialized packaging of RF components to support mission capabilities, from the amplifiers and gain blocks to attenuators and switches covering these bands.

    Roger Hall, general manager of Qorvo’s High Performance Solutions business said, “Our foundry products are manufactured with the same high-precision process controls that ensure NASA-trusted reliability and functionality. The Q-53 is a great model of how devices can be prototyped, tested and ramped to full production, cost effectively with long-term sustainability.”

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