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Weapon Wednesday – Patriot Missile System Gets an Upgrade

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Lockheed Martin’s radar technology demonstrator is designed to operate within the US Army Integrated Air & ...
Lockheed Martin’s radar technology demonstrator is  designed to operate within the US Army Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD) framework (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

The radar at the heart of US Army’s Patriot missile system is getting a bit long in the tooth, so Lockheed Martin has announced the debut of its next-generation air and missile defense radar demonstrator. The 360⁰ capable Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar for Engagement and Surveillance (ARES) will be unveiled to the public at the 2017 Space & Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

In service since 1981, the Patriot surface to air missile system is so dependent on its radar that the missile’s name stands for Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target. In essence it could be called a radar system with a missile rather than a missile system with radar.

Though it saw service in the Gulf War and the Iraq War, evolving missile threats are starting to leave the Patriot’s MPQ-65 radar behind, so Lockheed is working on how to adapt its AN/TP/Q-53 radar system for future variants. The goal is to produce a Lower Tier Air & Missile Defense Sensor that uses a fractional array and is cheaper, modular and scalable, with a 30-year life cycle to meet changing Army requirements.

The AESA technology has the first gallium nirtride (GaN) transmitter used in a ground-based radar as well as advanced signal processing techniques and 360⁰ sensor/fire control algorithm for threat detection.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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