Aloha, AMDR radar
Raytheon’s transformational naval radar arrives in Hawaii for ‘live target’ testing
The U.S. Navy’s new Air and Missile Defense Radar has arrived in sunny Hawaii for testing at a military-grade, high-tech testing range – the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility.
The move is a graduation of sorts for the radar, officially known as SPY-6(V). When installed on the Navy’s next-gen destroyer, it can see a target of half the size at twice the distance of today’s radar.
Engineers had been testing the fully assembled array for months at an indoor, near-field range in Sudbury, Massachusetts. AMDR was calibrated and demonstrated jaw-dropping radar array performance.
“We’re extremely excited to take the Navy’s next generation SPY-6 radar to the next level of test - far-field range testing on the Pacific,” said Raytheon’s Tad Dickenson, AMDR’s program director. “In Hawaii, we will be able to unleash the full power of this radar; - testing with live targets - in the air and on the sea. We’ll get to see the unprecedented capabilities of this multi-mission radar in action.”
A Packing Challenge? Not For This Design.
For the journey, the radar’s bags were packed – well, more like its boxes: 37 2-by-2-by-2-foot building blocks known as Radar Modular Assemblies, or RMAs.
By design, the radar is fully scalable. Each RMA is a self-contained radar which, when stacked together, can form any size array to fit the mission requirements of any ship.
The SPY-6(V) being developed for the Navy’s DDG 51 Flight III destroyer stacks 37 RMAs to form a 14-foot by 14-foot array. This configuration enhances the Navy’s ability to detect, identify and track air, surface and ballistic missile threats – delivering more than 30 times the sensitivity of the currently deployed SPY-1D radar, in similar space and at a comparable cost.
Raytheon’s team assembled and populated the components in the octagon-shaped array in just 140 days.
Raytheon engineers accompanied the radar on its journey westward and assisted with its installation at its final destination.
“I’ve been a part of the program since it was a drawing on the white board,” said AMDR hardware engineering lead Joe Preiss. “To see our results and AMDR progress closer to install on the ship – that’s why we do what we do.”
All Targets on Track
The delivery to the Hawaii range is the latest in a string of milestones, all achieved in less than two and a half years since the start of the program.
“Shipping the Engineering Development Model to the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, HI is a significant milestone in AMDR development,” said Captain Seiko Okano, Navy Program Manager of Above Water Sensors. “The entire team is looking forward to demonstrating system performance and continuing to make progress toward delivering this critical capability to the Fleet.”
The engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program is now nearly 80 percent complete. Most recently the team completed its third build of software, developed and tested in increments called “sprints.”
With the fourth build already progressing through development, the radar remains on schedule for delivery to the Navy for the DDG 51 Flight III ship in 2019.
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