Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR DEC JAN 2015 Contents INNOVATIONS
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 05 | DEC/JAN 2015
US Navy to field new AD radar in 2016
The US Navy (USN) expects to deploy the Raytheon Air
and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) on Arleigh Burke-class
DDG-51 Flight III guided missile destroyers beginning in
Raytheon successfully completed the hardware preliminary
design review and the integrated baseline review in July, both
key milestones in validating the maturity and low risk of the
“With the technology risks retired in the earlier technology
development phase and cost reduction initiatives already
implemented, we’re now fully focused on the fabrication of
the AMDR system and completion of the engineering and
manufacturing development phase,” said Raytheon’s vice
president Defense Systems’ Seapower Capability Systems
AMDR provides an enhanced ships’ ability to detect air
and surface targets and ballistic missile threats, with greater
detection ranges and increased discrimination accuracy
compared to the AN/SPY-1D(V) radar onboard many USN
Compared to the in-service AN/SPY-1D(V) radar, AMDR
is 30 times more sensitive and can simultaneously handle
over 30 times more targets to better deal with large and
complex anti-ship missile and ballistic missile raids.
Improved performance aside, an inherent design feature
of the AMDR is its scalability to fit any
size aperture or mission requirement.
The system is built with individual
‘building blocks’ called Radar Modular
Assemblies (RMA). Each RMA is
a self-contained radar transmitter
and receiver in a 2ft cubed box.
These RMAs stack together to fit
the required array size of any ship, providing a high degree of
scalability. All cooling, power, command logic and software
are also scalable. This innate scalability allows for new
installations or retrofitting without significant development
AMDR leverages off high-powered gallium nitride (GaN)
semi-conductors, distributed receiver exciters and adaptive
digital beamforming. AMDR’s GaN components cost 34
per cent less than gallium arsenide alternatives, deliver
higher power density and efficiency, and have demonstrated
meantime between failures of 100 million hours.
AMDR has a fully programmable, back-end radar controller
built out of commercial-off-the-shelf 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
AMDR has a high predicted operational availability due to
the high reliability of the GaN transmit/receive modules, the
low mean-time-to-repair rate and a very low number of line
replaceable units (LRU). Designed for ease of maintainability,
standard LRU replacement in the RMA can be accomplished
in under six minutes using only two tools.
AMDR is to be the USN’s next generation
integrated air and ballistic missile defence
(BMD) radar system and will be installed on at
least nine Arleigh Burke-class Flight III ships,
where it will replace the Aegis AN/SPY-1D
radar. The first three ships to receive AMDR
will have an emphasis on BMD.
– Matthew Mendenhall
Rendering of an Arleigh
Burke-class DDG-51 Flight
III guided missile destroyer
showing the AMDR array.
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