From the start, the approach to the U.S. Army’s revolutionary Air and Missile Defense radar broke the mold.
The competition culminated with a “Sense Off,” a chance for industry to put designs to the test and earn the contract award. Since selection in October 2019, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has continually set new standards for involving the customer and end users – the Army and its soldiers – in every phase of development.
It’s one thing to hear a project is going well. But it’s much better to see it for yourself – and to have a chance to make it even better.
That’s the thinking behind “soldier touchpoints,” meetings of groups of soldiers and the Raytheon Missiles & Defense team that’s building GhostEye™, the business’ new name for a family of radars that starts with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, that the company is making for the U.S. Army. It is a next-generation radar designed to defeat complex and evolving threats, such as hypersonic weapons.
“Delivery of our first full-scale GhostEye to the test site signified that it was hitting all the marks,” Raytheon Missiles & Defense's U.S. Requirements and Capabilities Director Bob Kelley said. “The actual radar was sensing, less than a year from contract award in 2019.”
End user involvement
Since September 2020, four soldier touchpoint events have not only offered Army teams a chance to see the radar up close, but they’ve also enabled these soldiers to give crucial early feedback about the prototype — to decide which design considerations are of the highest priority to the user whose input informs potential improvements in every phase of development.
“Providing the warfighter’s early input during each phase of the program has given Raytheon Missiles & Defense an unparalleled ability to deliver the right capability, at the right time, to the U.S. Army,” said Eric Maule, an associate director in U.S. Requirements and Capabilities with Raytheon Missiles & Defense who has participated alongside the U.S. government during touchpoint events.
These meetings are held at either a Raytheon Missiles & Defense site where the radar is being built or at the test site where the radar is being put through its paces to test and prove its exceptional capabilities. At the soldier touchpoints, the mere sight of the radar kickstarts discussions on all kinds of topics like tactical deployment, march order and emplacement, and the replacement and removal of parts.