The Army is moving forward with its program to find a new air and missile defense radar with the release of a prototype opportunity notice detailing plans to award a contract in September for six test systems to be fielded in fiscal year 2022.

Officials plan to eventually award a follow-on contract to procure up to 16 Lower Tier and Missile Defense Sensors (LTAMDS), which will replace the current Patriot missile defense system’s radar, according to the notice.

Raytheon’s GaN-powered AESA air and missile defense radar. Photo: Raytheon

This spring, the Army will hold a two-week “Sense-off” demonstration at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to test LTAMDS offerings, with the goal of using data from the event as a key factor in awarding the prototype contract.

Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Raytheon [RTN] have previously confirmed their participation in the upcoming “sense-off” (Defense Daily, Feb. 28).

The Army is then expected to award the three-year prototype deal this fall to receive six test LTAMDS by September 2022.

Officials said a follow-on production contract for up to 16 LTAMDS will be awarded “upon completion of a successful prototype.”

Program leaders have previously cited a need for the new radar to be easily integrated with the Army’s future air and missile defense battle command platform, IBCS, currently being developed by Northrop Grumman [NOC].