Raytheon Expects to Complete AMDR Engineering by September
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems is on track to complete the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) System by September, a program official said.
The SPY-6(V) AMDR will replace the SPY-1 radar in the Aegis Combat System onboard future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, being installed on the Flight III variant.
“The SPY-6(V) provides greater capability — in range, sensitivity and discrimination accuracy — than currently deployed radars, increasing battlespace, situational awareness and reaction time to effectively counter current and future threats,” according to the Raytheon website. “It is the first scalable radar, built with Radar Modular Assemblies [RMA] — radar building blocks. Each RMA, roughly 2’ x 2’ x 2’ in size, is a standalone radar that can be grouped to build any size radar aperture, from a single RMA to configurations larger than currently fielded radars.”
The EMD model has been going through testing since mid-2016 at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. By July, the radar was running at full power. By October, the radar began its first tracking of satellites, which “are similar to ballistic-missile [tracks] — small, far out and very high speed,” said Tad Dickenson, Raytheon’s director of the AMDR program.
In November, the AMDR completed its first simultaneous air and missile defense tracking, using satellites and aircraft of opportunity. In February, the radar was tested during an Standard Missile-6 shot against a target missile of opportunity as a risk reduction measure. On March 15, the AMDR was tested against a target missile — a multi-stage Aegis Readiness Assessment Vehicle — dedicated to the particular test.
“We did wideband digital beam forming on it,” Dickenson said. “The mission went as planned. All the mission objectives were met. Right now, we have about four more months of testing — ballistic-missile defense, anti-air warfare and anti-surface warfare. … The EMD program is over at the end of September.”
Raytheon already has begun low-rate initial production of the AMDR, having received a contract in December for long-lead materials.
“This year, we expect to get the follow-on contract for the full amount of material and labor for the first ship [AMDR], Dickenson said. “Now each shipyard [General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding] does its own wiring and piping just a little differently, but it’s well on its way [with] no issues.”
The first production SPY-6 is expected to be rolled out in 2019.