Industry Fielding More Powerful, Flexible Radars.

Author:Mayfield, Mandy
 
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The defense industry is working alongside the Pentagon and allied nations to bring online new radar systems that can be used on land and at sea.

Among those is Raytheon's AN/SPY-6 air-and-missile defense radar, said Scott Spence, senior director of naval radar systems at the company.

"SPY-6 is not just one system, it is a family of radars," he said.

It is configured using building blocks known as radar module assemblies, or RMAs, he said.

The radar has a number of variants including SPY-6(V)1, which was previously known as the air-and-missile defense radar, or AMDR. It is used for integrated air-and-missile defense.

The system was designed for DDG-51 Flight III destroyers and has four array faces, each with 37 radar module assemblies, Spence said. It can defend against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and other threats such as aircraft.

"A single RMA acts as its own radar," he said. The blocks can be scaled smaller or larger to fit different ships according to their mission.

The radar "sees much farther than ... current generation radars or previous generation radars, and it also sees much smaller targets and tracks many more of those targets incoming," Spence said. "It allows quicker reaction for those destroyers."

The Navy took the capabilities that were proven through the SPY-6(V)1 system and created the enterprise air surveillance radar, or EASR program, which turned into SPY-6(V)2 and SPY-6(V)3.

The V(2) features a single-face rotating array for amphibious assault ships and Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, Spence said.

"They took nine of these RMAs, they put it in a rotating face and made that the EASR (V)2," he explained.

The platform can be used to defend simultaneously against a variety of anti-surface and anti-ship threats while offering jamming protections, he said. The system can be backfitted onto aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships and smaller surface vessels that can't sustain larger radars.

The (V)3 iteration has nine RMAs and a three-face fixed array, Spence said. The technology can be integrated onto Ford-class aircraft carriers and the future FFG(X) guided missile frigates.

The radar can also simultaneously defend against cruise missiles, antisurface and anti-ship threats and provide jamming protections.

Both iterations of the radars are scalable with radar module assemblies technology--each RMA is a self contained radar and measures 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet, with a single software-hardware baseline, which...

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