The U.S. Navy installed a new AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) in its Advanced Radar Development Evaluation Laboratory (Ardel) at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) off Hawaii.
The Navy's Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) is a next-generation radar system designed to provide ballistic missile defense, air defense, and surface warfare capabilities. AMDR will initially support DDG 51 Flight III. The AMDR suite consists of an S-band radar (AMDR-S) for ballistic missile and air defense, X-band radar, and a Radar Suite Controller (RSC). AMDR-S is a new development Integrated Air and Missile Defense radar providing sensitivity for long range detection and engagement of advanced threats. The X-band radar is a horizon-search radar based on existing technology. The RSC provides S and X band radar resource management, coordination, and interface to the combat system. The Navy expects AMDR to provide a scalable radar architecture that can be used to defeat advanced threats.
The Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) was initially developed to support Theater Air and Missile Defense requirements as part of a next generation cruiser, CG(X), radar suite.
The AMDR will provide multi-mission capabilities, supporting both long range, exoatmospheric detection, tracking and discrimination of ballistic missiles, as well as Area and Self Defense against air and surface threats. For the BMD capability, increased radar sensitivity and bandwidth over the current SPY-1 system is needed to detect, track and support engagements of advanced ballistic missile threats at the required ranges.
For the Area Air Defense and Self Defense capability, increased sensitivity and clutter rejection capability is needed to detect, react to, and engage stressing Very Low Observable / Very Low Flyer (VLO/VLF) threats in the presence of heavy land, sea, and rain clutter. This effort provides for the development of an active phased array radar with the required capabilities to pace the evolving threat. Modularity of hardware and software, a designed in growth path for technology insertion, and Open Architecture (OA) Compliance are required for performance and technology enhancements throughout service life.
AMDR provides greater detection ranges and increased discrimination accuracy compared to the AN/SPY-1D(V) radar onboard today’s destroyers. The system is built with individual ‘building blocks’ called Radar Modular Assemblies. Each RMA is a self-contained radar transmitter and receiver in a 2’x2’x2’ box. These RMAs stack together to fit the required array size of any ship, making AMDR the Navy’s first truly scalable radar.
This advanced radar comprises:
S-band radar – a new, integrated air and missile defense radar
X-band radar – a horizon-search radar based on existing technology
The Radar Suite Controller (RSC) – a new component to manage radar resources and integrate with the ship’s combat management system
1)Scalable to suit any size aperture or mission requirement
2)Over 30 times more sensitive than AN/SPY-1D(V)
3)Can simultaneously handle over 30 times the targets than AN/SPY-1D(V) to counter large and complex raids
4)Adaptive digital beamforming and radar signal/data processing functionality is reprogrammable to adapt to new missions or emerging threats.
AMDR’s performance and reliability are a direct result of more than 10 years of investment in core technologies, leveraging development, testing and production of high-powered Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors, distributed receiver exciters, and adaptive digital beamforming. AMDR’s GaN components cost 34% less than Gallium Arsenide alternatives, deliver higher power density and efficiency, and have demonstrated meantime between failures at an impressive 100 million hours.
.AMDR has a fully programmable, back-end radar controller built out of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) x86 processors. This programmability allows the system to adapt to emerging threats. The commercial nature of the x86 processors simplifies obsolescence replacement – as opposed to costly technical refresh/upgrades and associated downtime – savings that lower radar sustainment costs over each ship’s service life. AMDR has an extremely high predicted operational availability due to the reliable GaN transmit/receive modules, the low mean-time-to-repair rate, and a very low number of Line Replaceable Units. Designed for maintainability, standard LRU replacement in the RMA can be accomplished in under six minutes – requiring only two tools.
Inefficiencies in radar transmitters lead to large prime power and cooling requirements for radars. The resulting RADAR prime power and cooling needs have a significant impact on radar weight, deckhouse volume, and cost and in turn can drive platform design. These problems are exacerbated for Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) applications requiring long pulse lengths. Power amplifier (PA) inefficiencies are the driving factor for transmitter inefficiencies and improvements in power amplifier efficiency will provide significant Radar and platform benefits.
Plans for the Air and Missile Defense Radar are to leverage research and development investments, integrate sufficiently matured fundamental advanced technologies from technology risk reduction efforts and allies, and incorporate Open Architecture approaches to develop a scalable radar design with major improvements in power, sensitivity, resistance to natural and man-made environments over curren radar systems for multi-mission TAMD (BMD and Area AAW). System design will be accomplished using proven advanced technologies and commercial standards to lower schedule risk and develop a product with the lowest life-cycle cost.
The total quantity of systems to sustain is 22. Each system includes four fully populated AMDR-S array faces and a Radar Suite Controller (RSC). Each system will have an operational life of 40 years. The O&S Time Horizon is 50 years (FY 2021 – FY 2070). The antecedent system is AN/SPY-1D(V). AN/SPY-1D(V) has fielded 32 systems, each with a planned service life of 35 years. The planned sustainment strategy for AMDR includes post-delivery routine software maintenance, software updates every two years to address new threats and other emergent capability requirements, Commercial Off The Shelf processing equipment upgrades on an 8-year cycle, and a two-level maintenance philosophy (Organization and Depot).
Does Russian Navy operate such S and X band Radars on their ships ?