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The Air Force expects to issue by the end of September the request for proposals to industry for the next phase of the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar, or 3DELRR, program, according to a release from the program's overseers. Three industry teams led by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon are competing for the rights to supply their respective radar designs to replace the Air Force's decades-old TPS-75 sensor and detect aircraft from long distances. The Air Force intends to award a contract to one of the teams in mid-Fiscal 2014 to complete engineering and manufacturing development and then proceed into low-rate production, states the Air Force's Aug. 22 release. Recently, the three companies completed prototype demonstrations of their designs. "We have three very strong competitors with three independent designs, so it's good to have that competition as we go into the next phase," said Suzanne Farrell, 3DELRR deputy program manager. On Monday, Northrop Grumman issued a release on its prototype demonstration. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon issued similar releases in July. (Hanscom report by Patty Welsh)