|Mobility||Sea-based and is highly mobile|
|Role||Planned to replace AN/SPY-1 as the primary radar for the Aegis Combat System|
|Deployment||Scheduled to be deployed on DDG-51 Flight III destroyers upon development[i]|
|Frequency||S-band (X-band for corresponding horizon-search AN/SPQ-9B radar)|
Currently being tested and manufactured is the latest and best system in the SPY series of missile defense radars: The Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) – AN/SPY-6 (V). AN/SPY-6 greatly improves capabilities of DDG-51 and Aegis allowing them to detect air and surface targets as well as the growing threat of ballistic missiles, using next generation integrated air and missile defense S-band AESA radar.
The AN/SPY-6’s scalability is what sets it apart. It consists of multiple Radar Modular Assemblies that “snap together like building blocks,” forming any size radar aperture required to meet mission requirements.[ii] This unique scalability means AN/SPY-6 components will be installed on existing or future Flight III DDG-51 destroyers, as well as aircraft carriers, amphibious warfare ships, frigates, Littoral Combat Ships and DDG-1000 classes. This scalability and versatility also provides financial benefits. Resizing AN/SPY-6 to fit aboard different ship types allows the U.S. Navy to avoid costs associated with designing and manufacturing numerous radar systems. Upon production, next generation Aegis-equipped DDG-51 Flight III destroyers will be outfitted with four AN/SPY-6 radar panels providing 360-degree coverage, as well as Northrup Grumman’s X-band AN/SPQ-9B radar for tracking.[iii]
In addition to being scalable for any size aperture or mission requirement, the AMDR is over 30 times more sensitive than the AN/SPY-1D(V), which maximizes the effectiveness of weapon system’s engagements against large and complex raids. This sensitivity will allow AMDR-equipped Flight III destroyers to maintain thorough radar coverage at twice the distance provided by today’s SPY-1D(V) radar.[iv] It’s adaptive digital beamforming and radar signal processing functionality further improves the radar’s ability to function in adverse conditions. It is also reprogrammable for different missions and constantly evolving threats. AN/SPY-6 is designed to provide coverage against numerous air and missile threats, making it the ideal radar system for vessels operating in constested regions around the world.
The AMDR program is nearing 80 percent completion. Its design is fully finalized and only a couple software builds are required for it to become operational. In July 2016, the U.S. Navy and Raytheon began testing of AMDR at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii. Over the course of a year, Raytheon plans to put AMDR through its paces with live fire, anti-air warfare, and ballistic missile defense testing.[v] After this, the system will undergo combat system validation at the Navy’s Surface Combat Systems Center on Wallops Island.[vi] AMDR AN/SPY-6(V) is progressing on schedule and set for IOC by 2023.