The first partially populated radar antenna array for the US Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) has completed the first round of testing, radar-maker Raytheon has announced.
The milestone comes less than five months after the US Army selected Raytheon for the delivery of the next-generation radar that will defeat advanced threats like hypersonic weapons.
The testing consisted of calibrating LTAMDS primary antenna array in an indoor, climate controlled test range, and evaluating its performance against simulated targets. With testing complete, the array is being mounted on a precision-machined enclosure for integration and further evaluation. It will then start testing at an outdoor range against real-world targets.
“Concluding these initial tests brings Raytheon one step closer to putting LTAMDS into the hands of service members,” said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “Raytheon and our supplier partners continue to make the right investments in people, technology and manufacturing capability to ensure we meet the U.S. Army’s Urgent Materiel Release.”
LTAMDS consists of a primary antenna array on the front of the radar, and two secondary arrays on the rear. The radar antennas work together to enable operators to simultaneously detect and engage multiple threats from any direction, ensuring there are no blind spots on the battlefield.
According to Raytheon, LTAMDS’ primary array is roughly the same size as the Patriot radar array, but provides more than twice Patriot’s performance. While it is designed for the US Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense system, LTAMDS will also be able to preserve previous Patriot investments.
The US Army plans to field the new radar to the first Patriot battalion by the 4th quarter of fiscal year 2022. A total of 15 battalions are to be fielded by 2031.