Lockheed Martin and ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), successfully completed a demonstration of their radar solution for the US Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) during the “sense-off” demonstration.
The two-week demonstration period at the “sense-off” at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico saw several companies demonstrate radars for the LTAMDS. A selection is expected to be made by the end of the year of one vendor to build six prototypes by the end of 2022.
The ELTA radar used for the event was the combat-proven ELM-2084 Multi-Mission Radar (MMR), which is used by Israel’s fame Iron Dome, David’s Sling and IAI’s land-based Barak weapon systems.
During the demonstration period, a series of air and missile defense exercises showcased the MMR radar solution and “how it will meet the Army’s requirements for the LTAMDS system, while providing additional deployment strategies for the air and missile defense mission,” read a statement provided by IAI.
The ELM-2084 systems allow for the monitoring, tracking and interception of several airborne projectiles simultaneously at an altitude between 100 meters and 3,000 meters (330 to 10,000 feet), and cover a wide area of about 250 kilometers.
The new version fuses additional ELTA sensors to the main MMR system, providing an active, passive and combined ASP. It operates in an S-Band frequency and provides long-range air defense, air surveillance and fire control capabilities.
By fusing the MMR with an additional higher band radar and active IFF and ADS-B sensors and passive SIGINT, EO/IR and LDS (Launch Detector Sensor) sensors, the MS-MMR can provide enhanced classification, identification and discrimination between very close targets even in dense areas and high background noise.
“The proposed radar solution incorporates a balance of mature production radar technology in a scalable, next-generation architecture designed to evolve as [the] mission changes,” the statement continued, adding that both Lockheed Martin and ELTA Systems were able to respond to the specific requirements of the US Army within a tight deadline.
Dr. Rob Smith, vice president and general manager of Radar and Sensor Systems at Lockheed Martin, said that since the technology is already proven in the field, the two companies are able to provide the systems within 24 months after the initial awarding of the contract.
“The LTAMDS program requires mature technology specifically designed to address the threat, which Lockheed Martin and ELTA both bring to the program,” he said. “We are demonstrating and proposing an innovative approach.”
Yoav Turgeman, IAI VP and CEO of ELTA, was quoted as saying that “ELTA is collaborating the most advanced and mature solution for LTAMDS with some of the world’s strongest leaders in the market by sharing our know-how and technology accumulated by ELTA during decades of defense and aerospace operations. The MMR is one of our most successful products with over 100 systems supplied worldwide. We are confident that this cooperation with Lockheed Martin can provide the army with a reliable solution.”
In February, the US Army asked Congress for $373 million to buy two Iron Dome batteries off-the-shelf from Rafael that included 12 launchers, two sensors, two battlement management centers and 240 interceptors. Washington wanted to have the systems, which include ELTA’s MMR radar system, delivered by 2020.