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US Army plans for LTAMDS buy, foreign military sales

The US Army is poised to award Raytheon a contract to produce Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) radars, according to a public notice posted on 16 March.

The company is developing the new missile defence radar for the service and if all goes as planned, the army said it will award the team a follow-on, low-rate-initial-production contract to produce 48 systems – 14 for the United States and 34 for foreign countries. This deal will include base year funding in fiscal year (FY) 2023 for long-lead items and then four option years spanning FY 2024 until FY 2027.

β€œAs the developer and manufacturer of the LTAMDS radar, only [Raytheon Technologies] possesses the technical expertise, proprietary data, and experience necessary to execute this requirement,” the army wrote in the notice.

Army officials envision the LTAMDS, as designed, as the future replacement for the legacy Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target (now known simply as Patriot) anti-air and missile radar system. The capability is designed to support the army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) initiative; the system can also be retrofitted onto legacy Patriot and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor batteries.

Company officials have declined to comment on whether the radar system's capabilities would be able to track and intercept hypersonic weapons, or whether hypersonic weapons would play into the simulated threat scenarios for the upcoming LTAMDS live target tests. However, Raytheon officials said in February 2020 that the new radar would be able to detect and track hypersonic-speed weapons but provided little detail on how the radar array would cope with the speed and manoeuvrability inherent in those weapons.

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