WASHINGTON — Raytheon has completed the first radar antenna array for the U.S. Army’s new missile defense radar in less than 120 days after being selected for the job, following a competition to replace the service’s Patriot air and missile defense system sensor.
The company won a contract to build the Lower-Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, in October. The radar will become a part of the service’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense System that will replace the entire Patriot system. Raytheon also manufactures the Patriot.
Raytheon has taken its years of experience refining gallium nitride technology at its Massachusetts-based foundry to help design a new radar system that will provide the Army 360-degree threat detection capability in a configuration that includes one large array in the front and two smaller arrays in the back.
The contract is worth roughly $384 million to deliver six production-representative units of the LTAMDS. The Army is working to rapidly deliver initial capability under an urgent materiel release.
The service in 2019 held a “sense-off” at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, between three working radars from Raytheon, a Lockheed Martin and Elta Systems team, and Northrop Grumman.
The next-generation radar will go beyond the capability of the Patriot radar to address advanced threats like hypersonic weapons.
“Following extensive testing, the radar array will be mounted on a precision-machined enclosure for integration and further evaluation,” the company said in a Feb. 21 statement. “The enclosure utilizes advanced design and manufacturing techniques for accelerated manufacture to support the U.S. Army’s Urgent Materiel Release program.”
Jen Judson is the land warfare reporter for Defense News. She has covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a reporter at Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club's best analytical reporting award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards' best young defense journalist in 2018.