Raytheon has tested the first radar antenna array for the US Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) radar.

The first round of testing was completed in less than five months, starting after Raytheon was awarded the contract by the US Army to build the next-generation radar in October last year.

The first antenna array of the radar was built in February this year.

Designed to defeat advanced threats such as hypersonic weapons, the LTAMDS is intended to replace the current military Patriot radars.

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems business, Integrated Air and Missile Defense vice-president Tom Laliberty said: “Concluding these initial tests brings Raytheon one step closer to putting LTAMDS into the hands of service members.

“Raytheon and our supplier partners continue to make the right investments in people, technology and manufacturing capability to ensure we meet the US Army’s urgent materiel release.”

During testing, the LTAMDS primary antenna array’s performance was assessed against the simulated targets. The test range was climate controlled in an indoor environment.

The array is now being integrated onto a precision-machined enclosure for further evaluation.

Following this, outdoor range testing will begin against real-world targets.

The 360° Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) LTAMDS radar encompasses of a primary antenna array on the front, and two secondary arrays on the rear end of the radar.

The antennas work at the same time to allow the user to identify and destroy multiple targets.

While the sizes of the LTAMDS primary array and the Patriot radar array are almost the same, the former’s performance is twice that of the Patriot.

In total, hundreds of suppliers across 42 US states are currently involved in the development of the radar.

The Raytheon-led core team includes Crane Aerospace & Electronics, Cummings Aerospace, IERUS Technologies, Kord Technologies, Mercury Systems and nLogic.