Key Point: Will the new strategy work?
(Washington D.C.) The Navy is accelerating integration of a new, much more powerful radar system intended to find and destroy enemy drones, missiles and aircraft at farther ranges by combining ballistic missile defense with standard air and missile defense -- all as part of an emerging service-wide strategic approach to increase Naval attack power and better network maritime warfighting platforms.
At the end of last year, the Navy laid the keel for its first new Flight III DDG 51 surface warfare destroyer armed with improved weapons, advanced sensors and new radar significantly more sensitive than most current systems, changing attack and defensive options for the surface fleet. Navy Flight III Destroyers have a host of defining new technologies not included in current ships, such as more on-board power to accommodate laser weapons, new engines, improved electronics, fast-upgradeable software and a much more powerful radar.
The Flight III Destroyers will be able to see and destroy a much wider range of enemy targets at farther distances, due to the integration of a new, advanced technology radar system called AN/SPY-6 radar. This means that the ship can succeed in more quickly detecting both approaching enemy drones, helicopters and low flying aircraft as well as incoming ballistic missiles.
The SPY-6 has already been built into the Navy's first Flight III destroyer, DDG 125, will be named the the USS Jack H. Lucas. As part of this radar and weapons surface fleet acceleration, the Navy recently awarded a new deal to SPY-6 manufacturer Raytheon for two additional "shipsets" of the radar system in a $250 million deal. The added radars put Raytheon on contract to deliver nine new systems.
A new software and hardware enabled ship-based radar and fire control system, called Aegis Baseline 10, combines SPY-6 with ship software, command and control and targeting technology. The Baseline 10-SPY-6 integration will drive a new technical ability for the ship to combine air-warfare and ballistic missile defense into a single system, improving ship defenses, counterattack options and command and control decisions. The AN/SPY-6 radar, previously called Air and Missile Defense Radar, is engineered to simultaneously locate and discriminate multiple tracks, Mike Mills, Raytheon SPY-6 Program Director, explained to Warrior in an interview.
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