Navy taps RTX Raytheon for critical radar hardware for missile defense aboard Burke-class surface warships

June 13, 2024
The Raytheon AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR will improve the Burke-class destroyer's ability to detect hostile aircraft, surface ships, and ballistic missiles.

WASHINGTON – Shipboard radar experts at RTX Corp. will build hardware for the new AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), which will be integrated into late-model Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) Aegis destroyer surface warships under terms of a $677.7 million U.S. Navy order announced Friday.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the RTX Raytheon segment in Marlborough, Mass., for AN/SPY-6(V) shipboard radar hardware.

The Raytheon AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR will improve the Burke-class destroyer's ability to detect hostile aircraft, surface ships, and ballistic missiles, Raytheon officials say. The AMDR will supersede the AN/SPY-1 radar, which has been standard equipment on Navy Aegis Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.

The new shipboard missile defense radar will go aboard Flight III Burke-class destroyers. Thus far two Flight III Burke-class destroyers have been launched: the USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), and the USS Ted Stevens (DDG 128). The keel has been laid for the USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126); USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129); and USS George M. Neal (DDG-131.

Related: DRS Laurel to build missile-defense radar systems to protect Navy surface warships from anti-ship missiles

Under construction are USS William Charette (DDG-130); USS Quentin Walsh (DDG-132); and USS Sam Nunn (DDG-133). Approved for construction are USS John E. Kilmer (DDG-134); USS Thad Cochran (DDG-135; the USS Richard G. Lugar (DDG-136); the USS John F. Lehman (DDG 137); the USS J. William Middendorf (DDG 138; and the USS Telesforo Trinidad (DDG 139).

Approved for construction are USS Thomas G. Kelley (DDG 140); USS Ernest E. Evans (DDG 141; USS Charles J. French (DDG 142); Richard J. Danzig (DDG-143); and USS Michael G. Mullen (DDG-144) DDG-145 is yet unnamed.

The new Flight III versions of the Burke-class destroyers will be built at Huntington Ingalls Inc. in Pascagoula, Miss., and at the General Dynamics Corp. Bath Iron Works segment in Bath, Me. Flight III is the latest version of the Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

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 enable 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 RF jamming environments.

Related: Navy asks Raytheon to build ESSM radar-guided missiles for ship defense against incoming planes and weapons

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.

On this order Raytheon will do the work in Andover, Mass.; San Diego, Cerritos, and Riverside, Calif.; Sykesville, Md.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Stafford Springs, Conn.; Tulsa, Okla.; Indianapolis; Portsmouth, R.I.; and other U.S. locations, and should be finished by September 2028. For more information contact RTX Raytheon online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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