The Navy and Raytheon are set to start testing the AN/SPY-6(v) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) at the service’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, the company’s AMDR program director told USNI News on Thursday.
The company and the service have installed a production representative face from the S-band volume search on a specialized testing tower at the PMRF, Raytheon’s Tad Dickenson said in a telephone interview.
“Last week we did initial light off at low power of the array and are just now working to graduate up to full power and head toward satellite tracking by the end of summer,” he said.
“Throughout the next 12 months – ending in the summer of 2017 – we will be doing live fire, anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense testing.”
The radar face on the tower is paired with a Northrop Grumman X-band AN/SPQ-9B for the testing – the same pairing that will be used on the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The first Flight III will be awarded to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works later this year.
“We should being long lead material before the end of the year for the first FY 2016 ship and we’ll be seeing an award option for the entire array system for the first ship — following Milestone C which will be the end of Fiscal Year 2017,” he said.
“Currently the program is nearing 80 percent complete and the majority of all the design is completed. We still have a couple of software builds to complete which give the final capabilities.”
The yearlong testing program in Hawaii will be followed by combat system validation at the Navy’s Surface Combat Systems Center (SCSC) on Wallops Island.
The radar promise to provide a 30-times boost in sensitivity over the current Lockheed Martin AV/SPY-1D radars found on current Burkes, the Navy has said.
Raytheon won a $363 million development contract for the radar with options upto $1.6 billion.