US Designates New Mobile Radar To Track Hypersonic Missiles, Drones & Fifth-Gen Fighters

The U.S. government has designated a new, high-speed mobile and movable radar capable of closely tracking hypersonic weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles, fifth-generation combat aircraft and other threats, Northrop Grumman said in a press release on Tuesday.

“Northrop Grumman’s long-range radar, an advanced digital radar available on the market today, has been officially recognized by the US government as the AN/TPY-5(V)1, making it the latest multi-mission aerial surveillance radar available for the US military and its international partners,” the release read.

“The AN/TPY-5(V)1 offers enhanced surveillance and robust multifunction capabilities,” said Mike Meaney, vice president of Northrop Grumman. “This S-band system offers advanced electronic protection coupled with a high degree of mobility that will help ensure survivability in today’s complex battlespace.”

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The new system is capable of meeting the challenges of fifth-generation fighters, hypersonic weapons, unmanned systems and ballistic missiles, the release said.

“The size and form factor of AN/TPY-5(V)1 are optimized for expeditionary operations on a modern, global battlefield, making its intrinsic ability to deploy, deploy and move itself in minutes a key differentiator compared with other systems,” the release added.

The radar’s advanced digital AESA architecture and the integration of command and control have been combined, according to the release, to enable protection and situational understanding for war fighters.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) failed to take required steps to mitigate technological risks before developing anti-hysonic weapons earlier in June, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report.

“MDA’s efforts to address hypersonic threats include the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI) and Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS). These efforts represent technologies that pose significant risks, but MDA has not taken the necessary steps to mitigate the risks and ensure appropriate Department of Defense (DOD) oversight or stakeholder involvement,” the GAO said.

MDA, the report added, did not intend to obtain an independent technology risk assessment to determine the maturity of the technologies before proceeding with development of the GPI, a missile designed to launch a shoot a hypersonic weapon in the mid or glide phase of its flight.

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File Image: Hypersonic Missile

Regarding the HBTSS, the GAO said the missile defense agency failed to effectively coordinate efforts with the US Space Development Agency and Space Force, despite the program’s focus on developing space-based sensors to track hypersonic weapons.

Overall, the report added, the MDA fell short of its asset deliveries and testing targets. For example, the MDA failed to conduct planned system-level cybersecurity testing, leaving the agency ignorant of system vulnerabilities and contributing to programmatic delays.

The GAO, a watchdog that conducts inspections authorized by Congress, also said improved oversight and involvement of the Department of Defense would also reduce the risk.

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