WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army formally announced its plan to conduct a missile defense radar “sense-off” to replace the aging Patriot that will be included in its Integrated Air and Missile Defense system (IAMD) under development.
The purpose of this sense-off seems to be designed to hit the reset button on the Lower Tier Air and-Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) program that has struggled to bring about a new radar for well over a decade. But will this effort right the ship for the program, or send it further off course?
The Raytheon-made Patriot air and missile defense radar was first fielded in the 1980s, and the Army attempted to replace the system with Lockheed Martin’s Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS, through an international co-development effort with Germany and Italy. But that program was canceled in the U.S. after closing out a proof-of-concept phase roughly six years ago.