You can call it Radar City

Known for rockets, Huntsville helps make advanced radars

The Huntsville defense community is not just about rockets.

Huntsville is known as Rocket City, as it is a mecca for the defense industry and home to both NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at the Redstone Arsenal.

It is also where Raytheon works with local suppliers to build its entry in the Army’s competition to produce the next-generation Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS.

Raytheon already produces radars with Huntsville roots, including the AN/TPY-2 air and missile defense radar, the KuRFS air surveillance radar and radars for the Patriot air and missile defense system.

“It’s a surprise to people just how much defense work goes on here in Huntsville, and now we’re providing support to the Army’s (proposed) next radar,” Allen Young, the female CEO of Kord Technologies, said.

Young established Kord in Huntsville with her husband Tom Young, Kord’s president, in 2008. Now Kord is one of several Huntsville companies that has become part of the Raytheon LTAMDS team, helping to advance the defense giant’s LTAMDS proposal.

“This is our whole world,” she said.

Working in Huntsville

Cummings Aerospace, another female-led defense company in Huntsville, performs advanced modeling, simulation and visualization. That’s where Clyde Cochrane works for CEO Sheila Cummings as program director for Raytheon programs.

In 2013, while serving as an Air Defender in the U.S. Army, Cochrane led a deployment of the THAAD air and missile defense system, which uses Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 radar as its eyes. He calls the experience his “claim-to-fame story.”

“After being deployed in conflict areas using defense equipment, it’s meaningful to work for a company supporting Raytheon on mission-critical programs,” Cochrane said. “I know it can be life or death to the warfighter, and we take that seriously. I’ve been there.”

Another supplier, the nLogic team led by CEO Tim Thornton, has long supported U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense. The company is conducting sustainment and logistics for Raytheon’s LTAMDS proposal.

At IERUS Technologies, yet another Huntsville company working on LTAMDS, engineers use Agile development methods to help  provide Raytheon with advanced algorithms and machine learning, according to Executive Vice President Michael Roesch In fact, the engineers at IERUS use Agile for everything they do, he said.

“Our tech firm has engineers, mathematicians and scientists supporting Raytheon’s innovative LTAMDS work,” Roesch said.