This paper presents a modeling and simulation method for studying ultrasonic guided wave propagation in hybrid metal-composites, also known as fiber-metal laminates. The objective is to develop an efficient and versatile modeling tool to aid in the design of cost-effective nondestructive evaluation technologies. The global–local method, which combines finite element discretization and Lamb wave modal expansion is used. An extension to the traditional global–local method is made to couple the source problem with the scattering problem to deal with a surface source generating Lamb waves that interact with defects in multilayered structures. This framework is used to study the sensitivity of different excitation frequencies to ply gap defects of various sizes. The coupled model considers the transducer contact conditions and the ultrasonic system response in the Lamb wave excitation, along with the scattering phenomenon caused by the defects. This combined result is used to define the optimal excitation frequency for the strongest transmission or reflection for a given defect size that can be observed in a physical experiment. Such results can be applied to the design of a damage detection scheme in realistic aerospace structures.