Rapid Fire | Monday, July 11, 2016, 00:59 UTC
Raytheon has delivered its AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar array to the US Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii ahead of the first radar light-off in early July . According to Tad Dickenson, AMDR program director, the array was the last component to ship and all other components, including the back-end processing equipment, were delivered earlier and already integrated at the range.
US Navy all set for AN/SPY-6(V) radar array tests
Posted on July 7, 2016
American defense contractor Raytheon informed that it has delivered the first AN/SPY-6(V) air and missile defense radar array to the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii ahead of schedule.
The company said the array was installed according to plan, in preparation for first radar light-off in early July. SPY-6(V) is the next-generation integrated air and ballistic missile defense radar for the U.S. Navy, filling a capability gap for the surface fleet.
The delivery and installation of the AN/SPY-6 radar at the Advanced Radar Development Evaluation Laboratory (ARDEL) followed the successful completion of Near Field Range testing in Sudbury, Massachusetts in late May, and marks the beginning of the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) program’s next phase of execution that includes live test campaigns at PMRF — involving air and surface targets as well as integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) flight tests.
In less than 30 months, the SPY-6(V) array completed design, fabrication and initial testing. Soon to transition to low rate initial production, SPY-6(V) remains on track for delivery in 2019 for the first DDG 51 Flight III destroyer.
“Several months of testing at our near-field range facility, where the array completed characterization and calibration, have proven the system ready for live target tracking,” said Raytheon’s Tad Dickenson, AMDR program director. “The array was the last component to ship. With all other components, including the back-end processing equipment, delivered earlier and already integrated at the range, AMDR will be up and running in short order.”
“The extensive testing to date has demonstrated good compliance to the radar’s key technical performance parameters,” said U.S. Navy Captain Seiko Okano, major program manager, Above Water Sensors (IWS 2.0). “The technologies are proven mature and ready for testing in the far-field range, against live targets, to verify and validate the radar’s exceptional capabilities.”
As Raytheon eplains, the SPY-6(V) is the first scalable radar, built with RMAs – radar building blocks. Each RMA, roughly 2′ x 2′ x 2′ in size, is a standalone radar that can be grouped to build any size radar aperture, from a single RMA to configurations larger than currently fielded radars.
All cooling, power, command logic and software are scalable, allowing for new instantiations without significant radar development costs.
Providing greater capability – in range, sensitivity and discrimination accuracy – than currently deployed radars, SPY-6(V) increases battlespace, situational awareness and reaction time to effectively counter current and future threats.
The inherent scalability could allow for new instantiations, such as back-fit on existing DDG 51 destroyers and installation on aircraft carriers, amphibious warfare ships, frigates, Littoral Combat Ship and DDG 1000 classes, without significant new radar development costs, Raytheon said.
When it comes to the DDG 51 Flight III destroyer, however, the SPY-6(V) AMDR will feature 37 RMAs – which is equivalent to SPY-1D(V) +15 dB meaning SPY-6 can see a target of half the size at twice the distance of today’s radar while 4 array faces will provide full-time, 360° situational awareness.
The video below illustrates the radar’s scalability and provides a visual of how it all should work.
The Highly Capable, Truly Scalable Radar
The Air and Missile Defense Radar – AN/SPY-6(V) – is the Navy’s next generation integrated air and missile defense radar. It is advancing through development and on track for the DDG-51 Flight III destroyer.
The radar significantly enhances the ships’ ability to detect air and surface targets as well as the ever-proliferating ballistic missile threats.
AMDR provides greater detection ranges, increased discrimination accuracy, higher reliability and sustainability, and lower total ownership cost as well as a host of other advantages when compared to the current AN/SPY-1D(V) radar onboard today’s destroyers.
The system is built with individual ‘building blocks’ called Radar Modular Assemblies. Each RMA is a self-contained radar in a 2’x2’x2’ box. These individual radar RMAs can stack together to form any size array to fit the mission requirements of any ship, making AMDR the Navy’s first truly scalable radar.
The inherent scalability could allow for new instantiations, such as back-fit on existing DDG 51 destroyers and installation on aircraft carriers, amphibious warfare ships, frigates, Littoral Combat Ship and DDG 1000 classes, without significant new radar development costs.
For the DDG 51 Flight III destroyer, the SPY-6(V) AMDR will feature:
- 37 RMAs – which is equivalent to SPY-1D(V) +15 dB
Meaning, SPY-6 can see a target of half the size at twice the distance of today’s radar
- 4 array faces to provide full-time, 360° situational awareness
Each face is 14’ x 14’ – which is roughly the same dimension as today’s SPY-1D(V) radar
- Scalable to suit any size aperture or mission requirement
- Over 30 times more sensitive than AN/SPY-1D(V) in the Flight III configuration
- Designed to counter large and complex raids
- Adaptive digital beamforming and radar signal/data processing functionality provides exceptional capability in adverse conditions, such as high-clutter and jamming environments. It is also reprogrammable to adapt to new missions or emerging threats.
- All cooling, power, command logic and software are scalable
RELIABILITY AND AFFORDABILITY
Designed for high availability and reliability, AMDR provides exceptional capability and performance compared to SPY-1 – and at a comparable price and significantly lower total ownership cost.
AMDR’s performance and reliability are a direct result of more than 10 years of investment in core technologies, leveraging development, testing and production of high-powered Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors, distributed receiver exciters, and adaptive digital beamforming. AMDR’s GaN components cost 34% less than Gallium Arsenide alternatives, deliver higher power density and efficiency, and have demonstrated meantime between failures at an impressive 100 million hours.
AMDR has a fully programmable, back-end radar controller built out of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) x86 processors. This programmability allows the system to adapt to emerging threats. The commercial nature of the x86 processors simplifies obsolescence replacement – as opposed to costly technical refresh/upgrades and associated downtime – savings that lower radar sustainment costs over each ship’s service life.
AMDR has an extremely high predicted operational availability due to the reliable GaN transmit/receive modules, the low mean-time-to-repair rate, and a very low number of Line Replaceable Units. Designed for maintainability, standard LRU replacement in the RMA can be accomplished in under six minutes – requiring only two tools.
This new S-band radar will be coupled with:
- X-band radar – a horizon-search radar based on existing technology
- The Radar Suite Controller (RSC) – a new component to manage radar resources and integrate with the ship’s combat management system