Raytheon’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), the U.S. Army’s next-generation Patriot radar replacement, recently achieved a vital milestone by detecting, tracking, and enabling intercept of a cruise missile surrogate target. The test proves LTAMDS’ capabilities against an array of aerial threats.
Validating Core Performance
During the Army evaluation event, LTAMDS autonomously detected and tracked the simulated cruise missile as it flew a tactical trajectory. Detection and targeting data was passed through the IBCS battle manager.
An integrated Patriot missile then utilized LTAMDS’ guidance command updates to achieve a successful intercept, validating the radar’s precision tracking and capabilities against difficult targets.
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Expanding Air and Missile Defense
LTAMDS provides a needed update to the original Patriot system radar technology developed over 50 years ago. Its design defeats new challenges like hypersonic glide vehicles, cruise missiles, and saturation attacks.
With threat detection in all directions, LTAMDS allows Patriot batteries to eliminate blind spots and increased vulnerability from limited radar field of view.
Path to Operational Readiness
Following the successful test, LTAMDS remains on track to obtain initial operating capability by end of 2023 as Raytheon completes six systems under the Army’s current production contract.
The company has overcome previous integration hurdles through phased testing, allowing fielding of the first radar with residual capabilities while evaluation continues. Further operational assessments in 2024 will clear the system for full rate manufacturing expected in 2025.
Ongoing Risk Reduction Testing
To ready LTAMDS for diverse operational conditions, Raytheon leverages multiple government test sites and facilities to run qualification in parallel across radar performance, environmental resilience, and mobility.
Continuous testing mitigates technology risks on the project and builds reliability at accelerated timelines to meet urgent fielding timelines.
Boosting Allies’ Defenses Too
Alongside protecting American warfighters from air and missile danger, LTAMDS also brings critical capabilities to allies like Poland.
Raytheon aims to extend its Patriot radar modernization efforts through foreign military sales as demonstrated by Poland’s request to acquire the advanced system.
Overall, Raytheon’s successful cruise missile test validates the immense capabilities LTAMDS provides air defenders against the full gamut of aerial threats in an increasingly complex long-range precision strike environment.