The sensitivity of the AMDR is 15 decibels more than the SPY- 1, a little
more than 30x [times] more sensitive than the SPY- 1, a traditional,
The radar also provides digital beam-forming capabilities so it has improved
electronic protection and improved clutter mitigation. The distributed receiver
exciters, multi-beam signal processing, adaptive digital beam forming and the
scalability of the radar were all demonstrated during the technology development (TD) phase. As one Navy official put it, you can see a target half the size
at twice the distance. That allows you to see much smaller targets further out
and gives you a greater reaction time to be able to prosecute those targets.
A more sensitive radar increases the ship’s operational area so it can perform a mission to either protect the fleet or protect other theaters of defense
from many other positions. Essentially, it can be in many more places in the
ocean now in order to perform the same mission. Also, you’re now matching
the radar to all SM- 3 [Standard Missile- 3] interceptors. You always like to
have a radar system that is paired well with the weapons system.
All the back-end processing of the AMDR is commercial, off-the-shelf
Intel-based x86 processing … and provides the Navy with significantly lower
acquisition costs and immensely lower logistics sustainment costs. The software can just move from one computer to the next computer to the next
computer. … One doesn’t have to worry now about the technology refresh
going into the future because you just upgrade to the next-generation x86.
Right now, our focus is on simply integrating the radar, completing the
software and qualifying the radar we’ve already built in TD phase. We’re on
plan to finish Engineering & Manufacturing Development in 2017
and have the first AMDR out to the ship in 2019.
Raytheon’s AMDR Will Bring
Greater Sensitivity to Detection
Raytheon’s SPY- 6(V) Air and Missile
Defense Radar (AMDR), now under
development, is the next-generation
radar for the Aegis Combat System
deployed on large surface combatants. The integrated AMDR system
includes an S-band radar and radar
suite controller, and, at least for the
first 12 shipsets, the SPQ-9B X-band
high-resolution phased-array radar
built by Northrop Grumman.
The AMDR will be installed on
Flight III guided-missile destroyers
(DDGs), beginning with the second
of two DDGs planned for procurement in fiscal 2016. A total of 22
DDGs are planned to be equipped
with the AMDR. A new X-band
radar eventually could succeed the
SPQ-9B in a Flight IV DDG.
Raytheon was selected to develop the
AMDR in October 2013 under a
$385 million contract, with $1.2 billion in Low-Rate Initial Production
(LRIP) options for nine shipsets.
After resolution of a protest, work
began in earnest in January 2014.
The AMDR will be shipped to the
Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii in April 2016 for final validation
testing. The radar will be fully qualified by mid-2017, and then be integrated with the Aegis Combat System at Wallops Island, Va. LRIP- 1 is
scheduled for 2017, with delivery of
the first shipset in mid-2019.
Tad Dickenson is AMDR program
director for Raytheon Integrated
Defense Systems, Sudbury, Mass.
The Air and Missile Defense Radar, illustrated here aboard an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, will provide greater detection ranges and
increased discrimination accuracy than the current AN/SPY-1D(V) radar.