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Raytheon aims to finish LTAMDS radar prototypes for Army in January


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The Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, made by Raytheon, is one of the Army’s top 35 modernization priorities. (Courtesy of Raytheon)

AUSA 2022 — Raytheon has finished five of its six future radar prototypes for the US Army, with the sixth radar set to be complete by January, a company executive told Breaking Defense.

Raytheon is responsible for manufacturing the Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), one of the Army’s top 35 modernization priorities and the system set to replace the Patriot radar system.

The first five “are available right now to do integration testing and those types of matter,” said Bob Kelley, Raytheon’s Requirements and Capabilities director for Land Warfare & Air Defense, in an interview during the annual Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C. “We are projecting the sixth one to be complete in January of ’23.”

The LTAMDS radar, an active electronically scanned array radar, will be a crucial component of the Army’s future integrated air and missile defense architecture. The sensor is designed to detect and track cruise and ballistic missiles, aircraft and unmanned aerial systems, and it will integrate with the Integrated Battle Command System, the Army’s air and missile defense network backbone designed to link disparate air and missile defense assets on the battlefield.

Kelley said that the six LTAMDS radars will undergo a “fairly robust testing regimen” shortly after delivery in January, both at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. and Raytheon’s own radar facilities. Both Raytheon and the Army are working toward a congressionally mandated initial operating capability for LTAMDS by December next year.

Raytheon won a $383 million contract in 2019 for the delivery of six LTAMDS radars to the Army. While the program did have some schedule slippages noted in the fiscal 2023 Army budget request, the service told Defense News earlier this year that it was adjusting the test schedule to meet “congressional mandate of fielding one LTAMDS Battalion (four sensors) by December 2023.”

In 2023, Kelley said the testing will get “more and more rigorous.” The radar will also have to complete its integration with the Northrop Grumman-made IBCS, a process that he said had made progress on earlier this year.

“The final testing will be done by soldiers. And then, of course, [there will be] some fire tests to demonstrate that this radar can support engagement of … targets,” Kelley said.

Raytheon announced earlier this year that it had shipped its first LTAMDS radar in April to White Sands Missile Range for testing. The radar underwent testing there through September. Raytheon is making software improvements after testing, but Kelley said no hardware adjustments have been necessary.

“We did learn that it can connect to IBCS, and we did learn that it can communicate with the … Patriot interceptors,” Kelley said. That’s “a very important part of what this radar has to do.”



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