The U.S. Navy is in the process of developing its next-generation radar system, intended to integrate onto new Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers (DDGs) by 2023.
The Navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) system is reputed to be more than thirty times more sensitive than current radars configured on existing destroyers. Navy officials claim that AMDR can detect a target half the size from twice as far away as the AN/SPY-1D radar that current DDGs are equipped with. This capacity will enable destroyers to engage more ballistic missiles simultaneously, and enjoy the advantage of being able to detect targets from further away.
The AMDR platform is being developed by Raytheon. In October, 2013, the company was awarded an engineering and manufacturing development contract for AMDR, worth more than $385,000,000. In December, 2014, Raytheon and the Navy successfully completed an AMDR hardware critical design review, which locked down the hardware design for all components for the AMDR.
The AMDR system is comprised of two primary radars and a radar suite controller. The two primary radars are the S-band and X-band sensors. The S-band radar provides volume search, tracking, and missile defense. The X-band radar provides horizon search, precision tracking, missile communication and illumination of targets. The two radars will work together to provide DDGs with radar navigation, missile guidance and other functions, including periscope detection. The AMDR may also be capable of carrying out electronic attacks.
Hardware for the AMDR was selected, in part, so that the system can be easily repaired with replaceable parts, fewer circuit boards, and cheaper components than previous radars. The AMDR is designed to rely heavily on software innovations, rather than the need to replace parts.
Construction and integration of the first AMDR systems is slated to begin by 2016. The new radars are expected to be implemented on and integrated with the Arleigh Burke-class Flight III technologies.
Flight I of the Arleigh Burke-class DDGs were those ships with hull numbers 51 (starting with the U.S.S Arleigh Burke DDG-51) through 71, launched between 1989 and 1996. Flight II of the Arleigh Burke-class DDGs consists of six different variants, beginning with DDG-72, the U.S.S. Mahan through DDG-118, the U.S.S. Daniel Inouye, which is still under contract to be constructed, and even up to five more Flight IIA variants that have been awarded contracts, but have yet to be laid down or named. The Navy currently plans to commission as many as 22 Flight III destroyers.
The AMDR system is expected to be operational and ready for combat missions on the first completed Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyers by 2023.
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Military Connection: Navy Working on Advanced Radar System: By Debbie Gregory