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.
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.