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NORTHCOM Expects Long-Range Missile Defense Radar to be Operational Within ‘Months’

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Brig. Gen. Joseph Lestorti, head of the U.S. Northern Command’s Operations Directorate/J3, has said NORTHCOM expects the S-band missile defense radar it is currently testing to become operational in the next few months, Breaking Defense reported Wednesday.

“We are literally months away from being able to plug in the Long Range Discrimination Radar, LRDR, in the missile defense operational architecture,” he shared during a space and missile defense event in Alabama. “From the testing so far we are seeing positive results for what this radar can do for us, discriminating threats to the continental U.S. to make ground-based interceptor engagements more lethal.”

LRDR is envisioned to strengthen homeland defense through enhancing ballistic missile tracking capability as well as to increase the military’s space domain awareness.

Lestorti also noted the importance of using sensor data. “We need to explore the possibilities of future sensors contributing to the expanded domain awareness in hypersonic tracking. It’s imperative that we incorporate fuse, exploit and leverage every bit of radar data regardless of source and distribute it as needed to the joint force and select partners,” he said.