US Navy AN/SPY-6(V) radar passes long-range missile test

The radar that is to be fitted on the US Navy’s Flight III Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers has passed its third significant ballistic missile defense test.

Raytheon, the company contracted to deliver the radars to the navy, announced on August 15 that the AN/SPY-6(V) acquired and maintained a long-range missile target track, from launch through flight.

The test took place at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, and followed two previous, less complex tests. The company did not specify the date of the test.

During the previous two tests, the radar proved up to its task tracking short-range ballistic missile and medium-range ballistic missile targets in March and July this year.

This test event featured a more complex, threat-representative ballistic missile target than prior tests, intended to challenge the detection and tracking capabilities of the new radar. AN/SPY-6 acquired and maintained the long-range missile target track, from launch through flight.

“We are continuing to stress this radar by increasing the range and complexity of the targets and demonstrating the radar is meeting its performance requirements,” said Navy Capt. Seiko Okano, major program manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office (PEO) Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS). “AN/SPY-6 is the nation’s most advanced radar and will be the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s surface combatants for many decades.”

Having achieved Milestone C, ahead of schedule, the program remains on track for delivery to the first DDG 51 Flight III destroyer.

AN/SPY-6(V) transitioned to Low Rate Initial Production with the May 1st contract award for the first three ship sets.

AN/SPY-6(V) provides greater capability – in range, sensitivity and discrimination accuracy – than currently deployed radars, increasing battlespace, situational awareness and reaction time to effectively counter current and future threats.

It is also the first scalable radar, built with Radar Modular Assemblies – 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.

The U.S. Navy’s new Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar leverages the scalable design of AN/SPY-6 in a scaled nine-RMA configuration to meet the mission requirements of carriers and amphibious ships.