Raytheon has built the first radar antenna for its new lower tier air-and-missile defense sensor, a company executive said.
Bob Kelly, director for business development and strategy for integrated air-and-missile defense, said the company is putting the antenna "through a series of tests in an indoor test facility where we measure the output [radio frequency] area, we make sure that it's operating and performing correctly and make any adjustments that need to be made."
Following the adjustments, the company will mount the antenna on a precision-enclosed shelter and test it outdoors with "targets flying against it," Kelly said.
The technology will boost capability for ground-based air defense relative to legacy systems.
The Army awarded the company a $383 million contract last year for six radars for the next-generation system.
The radar will have three fixed arrays that will provide 360-degrees of support for detecting and tracking, Kelly noted.
The platform is powered by gallium nitride, a material that is a "far more efficient [and] far more powerful transmitter than what's on the Patriot radar today," Kelly said...