Radar AN/SPY-6

Radar AN/SPY-6

The AMDR (Air and Missile Defense Radar, now officially named AN/SPY-6) is an active electronically scanned array air and missile defense active electronically scanned array 3D radar under development for the United States Navy (USN). It will provide integrated air and missile defense, and even periscope detection, for the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers; variants are under development for retrofitting Burke Flight IIA, and installation aboard Constellation-class frigates, Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers and San Antonio-class LPDs.

The first delivery of the AN/SPY-6 to the USN took place on 20 July 2020.

Development

On October 10, 2013, “Raytheon Company (RTN) [was] awarded an almost $386m cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase design, development, integration, test and delivery of Air and Missile Defense S-band Radar (AMDR-S) and Radar Suite Controller (RSC).”  In September 2010, the Navy awarded technology development contracts to Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon to develop the S-band radar and radar suite controller (RSC). X-band radar development reportedly will come under separate contracts. The Navy hopes to place AMDR on Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, possibly beginning in 2016. Those ships currently mount the Aegis Combat System, produced by Lockheed Martin.

In 2013, the Navy cut almost $10B from the cost of the program by adopting a smaller less capable system that will be challenged by “future threats”. As of 2013 the program is expected to deliver 22 radars at a total cost of almost $6.6B; they will cost $300m/unit in serial production. Testing is planned for 2021 and Initial operating capability is planned for March 2023. The Navy then was forced to halt the contract in response to a challenge by Lockheed. Lockheed officially withdrew their protest on January 10, 2014, allowing the Navy to lift the stop work order.

Technology

AN/SPX-6(V) AMDR

AN/SPX-6(V) is a dual frequency band radar operating in S-Band, and X-Band based on Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR). The AMDR is the first scalable radar built with Radar Modular Assemblies (RMA). Each RMA is essentially an individual radar with the dimensions of 2ft×2ft×2ft. These RMA building blocks can be combined to form various size arrays to fit the mission requirements of any ship. This common architecture ensures the radar’s extensibility and scalability to other platforms, and their particular mission requirements.

The AN/SPX-6(V) (AMDR) is comprised of 37 RMAs – which is equivalent to AN/SPY-1D(V) +15 dB in terms of sensitivity. It uses digital beamforming architecture and Gallium Nitride technology to detect missile threats over a large range and better distinguish detected objects. It acquire and track a target half the size and at twice the range compared to the AN/SPY-1, providing increased flexibility in ship operating location.

Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR)

Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) is a derivate of the AMDR and uses the system in a scaled nine-RMA configuration to meet the mission requirements of carriers and amphibious ships. EASR is equivalent to the sensitivity of the current AN/SPY-1D(V) radar on today’s destroyers, and at only 20% of the size of the legacy AN/SPS-48. These are considerable enhancements over the radars in service on current (and future) EASR-designated ship classes. Two variants of EASR will be provided (each face an identical 9-RMA array):

  • a single face, rotating radar (Upgraded capability replacing AN/SPS-48)
  • three face, fixed array radar (Upgraded capability replacing AN/SPY-4)

The radar system part operating in S-Band will provide wide-area volume search, target tracking, Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) discrimination, and missile tracking. Operating in X-Band the radar will provide horizon search, precision tracing, missile communications, and final illumination guidance to targets. It will be available in AMDR sets 13 onward.

AMDR entered low-rate initial production for three AN/SPY-6(V)1 radars in May 2017.

Variants

  • AN/SPY-6(V)1: 4-sided phased array radar with 37 RMAs. It is estimated to have a 15 dBi improvement compared to the previous generation AN/SPY-1 radar, or capable of detecting targets half the size at twice the distance. It is capable of simultaneous defence against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, air and surface threats, as well as performing electronic warfare. AN/SPY-6(V)1 is planned for the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class DDG.
  • AN/SPY-6(V)2: Otherwise known as the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR). Rotating and scaled-down version with 9 RMAs estimated to have the same sensitivity as an AN/SPY-1D(V) radar while being significantly smaller. It is capable of simultaneous defense against cruise missiles, air and surface threats, as well as performing electronic warfare. It is planned for Flight II San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (previously known as LX(R)) and the America-class amphibious assault ship Bougainville (LHA-8).
  • AN/SPY-6(V)3: A 3-sided phased array fixed version of the EASR, each with 9 RMAs. It has the same capabilities as AN/SPY-6(V)2. Operating in S-band, it will serve as a Volume Search Radar complementing the AN/SPY-3 X-band radar on Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers starting with John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). It’s also planned as the primary multi-function radar for the Constellation-class FFG starting with the first in class USS Constellation (FFG-62).
  • AN/SPY-6(V)4: A 4-sided phased array radar with 24 RMAs. Similarly to AN/SPY-6(V)1, it is capable of simultaneous defense against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, air and surface threats, as well as performing electronic warfare Planned to be retrofitted on Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class DDG.
  • A proposed 69 RMAs version is estimated to have 25 dBi sensitivity improvement over the AN/SPY-1, or capable of detecting targets half the size at almost four times the distance.

 

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