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Raytheon has reached a critical milestone in collaboration with the US Army, announcing that the live-fire engagement with the cutting-edge 360-degree Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) represents a significant leap forward in developing advanced missile defense systems.

LTAMDS represents the next generation in air and missile defense radar for the US Army, offering a comprehensive 360-degree coverage and leveraging advanced Gallium Nitride technology. It is able to counter various threats, from manned and unmanned aircraft to cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and hypersonic missiles.

This live-fire test showcased the LTAMDS’s capabilities in intercepting a cruise missile surrogate, and the success highlighted the radar’s effectiveness in countering a diverse range of threats, a development that reinforced the firms’ position as a key player in the evolution of air and missile defense technology.

According to Interesting Engineering, LTAMDS is equipped with a state-of-the-art 360-degree Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, and the test scenario involved a cruise missile surrogate navigating a representative threat trajectory. The radar detected and tracked the target, and the tracking data was transmitted to the Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS), where LTAMDS initiated the launch command. The subsequent guidance of a PAC-3 missile to intercept the target demonstrated the radar’s precision and reliability in real-world defense scenarios.

Tom Laliberty, president of Land and Air Defense Systems at Raytheon, said that the company promised that they would deliver the world’s most advanced and highly capable air and missile defense radar. He added that seeing LTAMDS come to life reaffirms the commitment they made “to deliver this exceptional radar to air defenders around the globe. We’re now closer than ever to doing just that.”

All six LTAMDS radars under the contract have finished production, and now simultaneous testing at various government and Raytheon test sites is underway. Events are scheduled to continue throughout 2023 while focusing on rigorous testing in 2024, and ultimately lead to full operational capability in the calendar year.