Studies begin on next-generation shipboard air-defense radar suite
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
Eye on the Prize
tion and terminal illumination.
“Both radars will be integrated
into a suite by the RSC, [which]
will provide the appropriate interfaces between AMDR-S, AMDR-X
and combat system, as well as perform coordinating actions to ensure
both radars operate together in a
diverse environment,” he said.
The Navy’s next-generation cruiser, CG(X), and the Future Surface
Combatant are possible hosts for the
“Building a large-scale radar capable of supporting multiple maritime missions is the most
challenging aspect of the AMDR program,” Razavian said.
Ballistic-missile defense capability, integrated in the
Aegis Combat System as it was progressively upgraded,
will be integrated in AMDR from the start. Open system architecture and nonproprietary software code will
be mandatory characteristics of AMDR.
The three concept studies are focused on the technology development for S-band radar and systems concepts for the RSC, Razavian said.
“The Navy has determined that the X-band technology is sufficiently mature and can meet performance
requirements for AMDR,” he said. “X-band activities
are planned for later phases of the program.”
The S-band ( 2 to 4 gigahertz) of the radio frequency
spectrum is used in search radar requiring long range
but allowing lower resolution. The X-band ( 8 to 12 gigahertz) is used in radar requiring high resolution and the
ability to identify and discriminate between targets, but
is more susceptible to clutter and attenuation.
Razavian named four key technologies applicable to
the AMDR program:
■ High-power amplifiers and transmit/receive modules.
■ Active array physical architectures.
■ Distributed receiver/exciters.
■ Large-aperture digital beam forming.
Three defense contractors will lay out concepts for the Navy’s next-generation shipboard Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR).
■ AMDR is designed to address current and future capability gaps.
■ A scalable dual-radar suite is a possibility for future surface
■ Contenders highlight technology prowess for potentially lucrative programs.
Three of the nation’s largest defense contractors are developing concepts for the Navy’s next- generation shipboard Air and Missile Defense
Radar (AMDR), which is to equip future surface combatants and eventually succeed the fleet’s successful
Aegis Combat System.
Though the $10 million Naval Sea Systems Command
contracts awarded in July to each of the companies —
Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman —
are tiny in terms of overall defense spending, the long-term result for the company or companies ultimately
chosen to develop the AMDR could be billions of dollars
in future production contracts.
“The Air and Missile Defense Radar suite is being
designed to support maritime integrated air and missile
defense,” said Adam Razavian, deputy major program
manager for above-water sensors for the Navy’s program
executive officer for integrated warfare systems. “AMDR is
envisioned to counter current and emerging ballistic-missile, air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile threats.
“AMDR will consist of an S-band radar [AMDR-S], an
X-band radar [AMDR-X] and a radar suite controller
[RSC],” Razavian said. “AMDR-S will provide volume
search, tracking, ballistic-missile defense discrimination
and missile communications. AMDR-X will provide
horizon search, precision tracking, missile communica-