Bad Idea: Sectored Air and Missile Defense Radars
December 21, 2018
In a world where unmanned aerial vehicles are plentiful, cruise missiles are becoming more abundant, and hypersonic boost glide vehicles are just over the horizon, air and missile threats are coming from all directions. To address the realities of this environment, effective defenses require an air and missile defense sensor architecture that looks in all directions as well.
To a great extent, however, the Pentagon is persisting in old habits of buying narrowly sectored radars—those that look in only one direction. Sectored ground-based radars are not only a mainstay of regional defenses like Patriot and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), but also comprise the majority of the sensors supporting the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program for long-range missile defense (see Table 1). This approach was good enough for the simple ballistic missile threats of the past, but not for the complex, multi-domain threats of the future.
This piece was published as part of the Defense360