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One of the fastest-moving programmes supporting the US Navy’s (USN) surface force is Raytheon’s build of the AN/SPY-6 radar. SPY-6 is a family of next-generation, integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) radars that scale to meet the mission requirements of any ship. Raytheon continues to scale SPY-6 radars to meet its naval customer’s requirements by compiling from individual ‘building blocks’ called Radar Modular Assemblies (RMAs) – each a self-contained radar that come in 2’x2’x2’ boxes. Mike Mills, SPY-6 Program Director at Raytheon Integrated Defense, provided some context to these model differences during an interview with MON at the Surface Navy Association (SNA) symposium this week. He pointed out that, whereas the SPY-6(V)1 designed for the DDG 51 Flight III destroyers has four array faces – each with 37 RMAs – the SPY-6(V)2, also known as the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) rotator variant, designed for amphibious assault ships and NIMITZ-class carriers, has one rotating array face – with 9 RMAs.

As delegates convened at SNA, the company was fresh off the award to build two additional shipsets of SPY-6(V)1 radars for the Navy. The company is now contracted to supply a total of nine radar shipsets to DDG 51 Flight III destroyers. Delivery of the first SPY-6 array will occur this February for risk reduction and integration into the AEGIS combat management system at the Navy’s Combat Systems Engineering Development Site (CSEDS) in Moorestown, NJ. Raytheon has already delivered initial SPY-6 support hardware for fitting on DDG 125 to the vessel’s builder, Huntington Ingalls Industries. “By the end of this summer, all AN/SPY-6 equipment from Raytheon for DDG 125 will be at this [Pascagoula, MS] shipyard,” Mills noted. DDG 125’s ‘light off’ regimen involving AN/SPY-6 is expected in 2022-2023.

In October 2019, Raytheon delivered a technical data package (TDP) to the Navy, which will allow SPY-6(V)4 – a 24 RMA variant – to be backfitted on to Flight IIA destroyers as they come in for mid-life service. Beyond DDG 51 class work, Raytheon has ordered long-lead materiel for equipping AN/SPY-6(V)2 on LHA-8 and CVN-79 – with initial delivery of this radar variant on plan for 2021.

We’re also responding to Navy requirements for an unnamed, three fixed-face array SPY-6 variant for the rapidly evolving FF(G)X programme. We started that work at the end of 2019,” Mills added. The number of shipsets for the new class, the SPY-6 radar designation and other requirement details have yet to be finalized by the service.

The Raytheon programme leader also reported that, since SPY-6’s inception, his industry-led team has met all milestones. While radar shipsets remain in build, the programme is concurrently demonstrating its multi-mission capabilities against an array of single and multiple simultaneous targets throughout the Navy customer’s extensive testing programme.

Raytheon has been in dialogue regarding AN/SPY-6 with other prospective navy customers around the globe, including Norway, Japan and Singapore.

Marty Kauchak in Virginia for MON

An SPY-6(V)1 array next to Raytheon's near field range at its Radar Development Facility in Andover, MA. (Photo: Raytheon)

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