Lockheed Martin to build gallium nitride (GaN)-based shipboard radar for Spanish Bonifaz-class frigate

Jan. 9, 2023
The Spain F-110 shipboard radar is based on the Lockheed Martin SPY-7 radar, which uses gallium nitride (GaN) transmit and receive modules.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy surface warfare experts needed a solid-state S-band radar for Spain's Navantia F-110 Bonifaz-class frigate surface warships. They found their solution from Lockheed Martin Corp.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced an $82.8 million order Thursday to the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Moorestown, N.J., for Spain F-110 radar component production and ship integration and test.

The Spain F-110 shipboard radar is based on the Lockheed Martin SPY-7 radar, which uses gallium nitride (GaN) transmit and receive modules. Lockheed Martin initially developed the SPY-7 for the U.S. Navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) competition.

The company later adapted SPY-7 radar technologies into the Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) that the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) ordered as a sensor in the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. The LRDR can discriminate between incoming warheads and decoys.

Related: Northrop Grumman to build eight gallium nitride-based G/ATOR air-defense radar systems in $236.9 million deal

SPY-7 is a modular shipboard radar that enables Lockheed Martin to build different configurations for land- and sea-based applications. The SPY-7 has been selected by the Spanish navy to integrate with the Aegis Combat System on Spanish F-110 Bonifaz-class frigates. The Canadian navy also is procuring the radar for its Halifax-class surface combatant.

SPY-7 is a scalable radar that provides ballistic missile defense, and provides several times the performance of traditional SPY-1 radars aboard U.S. Navy Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.

SPY-7's GaN technology allows for improved cooling of the radar, which is made up of thousands of mini scanners, which make the radar easily upgradable as threats evolve. Spain’s F-110 naval radar will go to sea in 2026 aboard the first F-110 frigate.

On this contract Lockheed Martin will do the work in Moorestown, N.J.; Ferrol and Rota Spain; Andover, Mass.; and Clearwater, Fla., and should be finished by December 2029. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems online at www.lockheedmartin.com, Navantia shipbuilding at www.navantia.es/en, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

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