- May 18, 2019
- Reaction score
The radar that Raytheon specifically designed for the Army uses next-generation gallium nitride technology and is 7 feet longer but 11 inches more narrow than the radar unit. But it no longer requires outrigger stabilizing legs. Rather, the system is held stable by jacks underneath, which means its takes up less space on the sides, according to Bob Kelley, Raytheon’s director of domestic integrated air and missile defense programs for business development and strategy.
No it does not need to rotate - that is the entire point of developing a staring sensor. Raytheon has disclosed that the rear panels are designed to offer more than 2x the search range of the current Patriot radar which would be plenty of rear sector performance given the LTAMDS mission. They are sized to perform the full spectrum of PATRIOT's mission. There will also be other sensors operating as part of the PATRIOT battalion and within the broader IAMD fold covering other vectors and airspace. I did reach out to a Raytheon team member to see if the radar can slew and whether that capability will be carried over from the legacy sensor into the fielded LTAMDS sensors. Haven't heard back but I would be highly surprised if the final variant of their sensor doesn't offer that capability in some shape or form. There is some indication that the ability to slew is built into the design and may show up in the final delivered product..If it rotated why would you need three arrays?
It was a conscious decision on Raytheon's part not to go with a rotating design which would have been much simpler, cheaper but would not have performed as well. Raytheon on a number of occasions have commented that they discarded a rotator as they deemed it to be inadequate to best meet the performance requirements the US Army had set for them. They chose to go with a full mission spectrum simultaneous 360-degree capability. Hence the substantial increase in size of the rear panels compared to to what they had planned on the PATRIOT AESA upgrade or what their competition appears to have proposed. I think the question that still needs to be answered is whether this sensor can be slewed. Hopefully that will be known soon.I`m almost surprised that they just didnt come up with a railroad locomotive style turntable setup that the existing radar trailer could just be parked on and physically rotated instead.
I thought it was obvious that this was a prototype and same would be the case with the 6 that are to be delivered to the US Army for fielding by late 2022 following which production decision would be made for follow on orders. There are graphics where the rear assembly is not bolted, hence why I dropped a query to them to clarify this point as they would have insight into what the final configuration is likely to be. They have a pretty good team on this radar and beat some of the top radar suppliers on the planet. I'm sure they know how trailers work. At the end of the day, the design represents something built to meet or exceed requirements so there is Army influence on this as well. If the Army wants the sensor to slew, like its predecessor, that's what they'll deliver.A work in progress.