Navy continues work to replace AN/SPY-1 shipboard radar with new Air and Missile Defense Radar

Aug. 3, 2016
WASHINGTON, 3 Aug. 2016. U.S. Navy shipboard electronics experts are continuing work to install the new AN/SPY-6(V) shipboard radar aboard late-model Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) Aegis destroyers.
WASHINGTON, 3 Aug. 2016. U.S. Navy shipboard electronics experts are continuing work to install the new AN/SPY-6(V) shipboard radar aboard late-model Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) Aegis destroyers.

The new Raytheon Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) will replace the AN/SPY-1 radar that had been standard equipment on Navy Aegis Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $30.4 million contract modification Tuesday to Huntington Ingalls Inc. in Pascagoula, Miss., for Flight III upgrades to Burke-class destroyers.

Huntington Ingalls is one of two companies that build Burke-class destroyers. The other is the General Dynamics Corp. Bath Iron Works segment in Bath, Me. Flight III is the latest version of the Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

None of these newest ships yet are completed or at sea. Navy officials have awarded contracts for three Flight III Burke destroyers to date. Two will be made by Bath Iron Works and one will be made by Huntington Ingalls.

Related: Navy seeks to double funding for Advanced Above Water Sensors shipboard radar research

The main goal of the Flight III Burke-class destroyer upgrade is to replace the SPY-1D(V) radar with the air and missile defense radar designated as AN/SPY-6(V), Navy officials say.

This contract modification to the existing DDG 51 Class Follow Yard services contract to Huntington Ingalls will enable the company to make upgrades to the original Burke-class design to bring it up to Flight III requirements.

The Raytheon AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar will improve the Burke-class destroyer's ability to detect hostile aircraft and surface ships, as well as enemy ballistic missiles, Raytheon officials say.

The AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR will provide greater detection ranges, increased discrimination accuracy, higher reliability and sustainability, and lower costs compared to the AN/SPY-1D(V) radar onboard today’s Burke-class destroyers.

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The system is built with individual building blocks called radar modular assemblies (RMAs), Raytheon officials say. Each RMA is a self-contained radar in a two-cubic-foot box; RMAs can stack together to form any size array to fit ship mission requirements.

The inherent scalability of the AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR also could allow for new instantiations, such as backfits on existing Burke-class destroyers and installation on aircraft carriers, amphibious warfare ships, frigates, the Littoral Combat Ship and Zumwalt-class land-attack destroyers without significant new radar development costs, Raytheon officials say.

For the Flight III Burke-class destroyer's SPY-6(V) AMDR will feature 37 RMAs. The new radar will be able to see targets half the size at twice the distance of today’s SPY-1 radar. The AMDR will have four array faces to provide full-time, 360-degree situational awareness. Each 14-by-14-foot face is about the same size as today’s SPY-1D(V) radar.

The AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR will 30 times more sensitive than the AN/SPY-1D(V) in the Flight III configuration, and is being designed to counter large and complex raids, Raytheon officials say. The new radar will have adaptive digital beamforming and radar signal processing for dealing with high-clutter and jamming environments.

Related: ASW and surface warfare technology upgrades move to fleet

The AN/SPY-6(V) radar also is reprogrammable to adapt to new missions or emerging threats. It uses high-powered gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors, distributed receiver exciters, adaptive digital beamforming, and Intel processors for digital signal processing.

The new radar will feature S-band radar coupled with X-band horizon-search radar, and a radar suite controller (RSC) to manage radar resources and integrate with the ship’s combat management system.

The first of an expected 42 Flight III Burke-class destroyers is expected to join the fleet in 2023. On this contract modification Huntington Ingalls will do the work in Pascagoula, Miss., and Washington, D.C., and should be finished by May 2017.

For more information contact Huntington Ingalls online at, Raytheon at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

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