Army planning to demonstrate new ALPS sensor in theater

By Ashley Tressel / May 8, 2019 at 3:29 PM

The Army in the next six to nine months could demonstrate in theater the new prototype Army Long-range Persistent Surveillance, or ALPS, sensor currently being fielded in Europe, the Pacific and U.S. Central Command, according to a service official.

Col. Chuck Worshim, project manager for cruise missile defense systems, told Inside Defense in an interview late last month the ALPS in its science and technology phase showed it could provide "a great passive capability to help inform the overall air picture."

Worshim said the Army has been conducting initial experiments "to understand [the sensor's] true military utility." 

Lt. Gen. James Dickinson, head of Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command told the Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee in testimony last month the ALPS project was launched two years ago in response to a request from U.S. European Command.

The Army is playing close to the vest exactly what gap the ALPS seeks to fill in the service's detection capability, sharing only that it can be configured to meet a particular user's needs. The most common configuration is a transportable, 100-foot trailed tower and a conex-based processing shelter, according to the service.

Alabama-based contractor Dynetics has confirmed it is building ALPS for the Army.