Military


AN/SPQ-9 Radar

The AN/SPQ-9 Surface Surveillance and Tracking Radar, developed by Northrop Grumman Norden Systems, Melville, NY, is installed on CG 47 class cruisers and DDG-51class destroyers. This track-while-scan radar is part of the Mk 86 gun fire control system (GFCS) used to control the 5 inch 54 caliber gun mounts. Its mission is for shore bombardment, antisurface warfare, and limited antiair warfare. Additionally, it is an outstanding navigation radar and has been known to track the raised periscopes of submerged submarines.

The AN/SPQ-9B is a complete redesign upgrade to the current AN/SPQ-9A radar located on many of the US combatants. Because the radar is such an reliable, outstanding surface radar, the capability to better detect low sea skimming cruise missiles was desired. The AN/SPQ-9B fulfills this requirement yet maintains all of the desired features of the 9A. The AN/SPQ-9B supports surface engagement capability in effectively detecting and tracking sea-skimming, low radar cross-section, high-speed targets in heavy clutter environments. It uses a high resolution, track-while-scan, X-Band, pulse Doppler radar to provide real time acquisition and automatic tracking of multiple targets.

The AN/SPQ-9 radar supports surface engagement capability to effectively detect and track sea-skimming, low radar cross-section, high-speed targets in heavy clutter environments. The radar interfaces with ship combat systems via either the MK-86 GFCS, Ship Self Defense System (SSDS), or Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) on CG47, CV/CVN, LHD, LPD 17 and DDG 51 class ships. The AN/SPQ-9B uses a high resolution, track-while-scan, X-Band, pulse Doppler radar to provide real time acquisition and automatic tracking of multiple targets.

The AN/SPQ-9B represents a product improvement to the AN/SPQ-9A radar that will enhance its ability to detect and track high-speed, low-radar cross section sea-skimming targets in high-clutter coastal environments. The AN/SPQ-9B uses a high resolution, track-while-scan, pulse-Doppler radar to provide rapid acquisition and automatic tracking of multiple targets. Upgrades include a new transmitter, processor, antenna, and better diagnostics. The AN/SPQ-9B detects sea skimming missiles at the horizon even in heavy clutter while simultaneously providing detection and tracking of surface targets and beacon responses.

The AN/SPQ-9B is able to operate as part of the Mk 86 as well as operate as a sensor to ships without gun mounts by providing cueing to other systems to defeat the threats. The AN/SPQ-9B is available as a stand-alone radar or as a replacement for the AN/SPQ-9 in the Mk 86 Gun Fire Control System, which will be integrated into the Mk 1 Ship Self Defense System (SSDS). The AN/SPQ-9B is to be interfaced with either the MK-86 Gun Fire Control System, the Ship Self Defense System, or the Aegis Combat Direction System.

The Radar Set AN/SPQ-9B is a high resolution, X-band narrow beam radar that provides both air and surface tracking information to standard plan position indicator (PPI) consoles. The AN/SPQ-9B scans the air and surface space near the horizon over 360 degrees in azimuth at 30 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). Real-time signal and data processing permit detection, acquisition and simultaneous tracking of multiple targets. The AN/SPQ-9B provides raw and clear plot (processed) surface video, processed radar air synthetic video, gate video, beacon video synchro signals indicating antenna relative azimuth, Azimuth Reference Pulses (ARP), and Azimuth Change Pulse (ACP). The radar will maintain its capabilities in the presence of clutter from the sea, rain, land, discrete objects, birds, chaff and jamming. In the Radiate state the AN/SPQ-9B has three modes of operation: the Air mode, Surface mode and Beacon mode. Both Air and Surface modes have a submode for Organic Combat System Operator/Team Training. The AN/SPQ-9B serves as a complement to high-altitude surveillance radars to detect missiles approaching just above the sea surface. The system emits a one-degree beam that, at a range of approximately 10 nautical miles, is capable of detecting missiles at altitudes up to 500 feet. Since the beamwidth expands over distance, the maximum altitude will increase at greater ranges.

The Air Mode uses the Pulse-Doppler radar for detecting air targets. When the AN/SPQ-9B radar detects an air target and initiates a track, it will determine the position, speed, and heading of the detected target. The Air mode has a sector function called, the Anti-Ship Missile Defense (ASMD), and a look back waveform. In the Radiate state, the Air mode is enabled continuously.

The Surface Mode generates a separate surface frequency and an independent pulse with a Pulse Repetition Interval (PRI) commensurate with a range of 40,000 yds, not including radar dead time. The AN/SPQ-9B radar has a 360-degree scan coverage for surface targets. The radar displays raw and clear plot video. The AN/SPQ-9B Radar Surface mode has a submode called Surface-Moving Target Indicator (MTI), and operates concurrently with the Air mode. While in the radiate state, the Surface Mode is enabled continuously.

The Beacon Mode generates a separate beacon frequency and an independent pulse with a PRI commensurate with a range of 40,000 yds, not including radar dead time. The AN/SPQ-9B radar has a 360-degree scan coverage for beacon targets. The received beacon video is sent to the console for display and distribution. Beacon track data is sent to the computer for processing. The AN/SPQ-9B Radar Beacon mode operates concurrently with the Air mode and Surface mode.

The ASMD Sector Function allows quick response detection of low-flying high-threat targets by the Air mode. The radar automatically detects, tracks, and reports any targets entering the ASMD sector that meet the conditions for targets with a time-to-go of less than 30 seconds. The ASMD azimuth sector width is operator selectable between 5 and 360 degrees. The ASMD range within that sector is operator selectable from the minimum range of the radar to a maximum of 20 nmi. The AN/SPQ-9B Radar ASMD sector function operates concurrently with the Air mode, Surface mode, and Beacon mode.

The Surface-MTI Submode allows for the cancellation of non-moving targets by the Surface mode. The Surface-MTI azimuth sector width is operator selectable between 5 and 360 degrees. The AN/SPQ-9B automatically displays any targets with a radial speed exceeding 10 Kn. The AN/SPQ-9B Radar Surface-MTI submode will operate concurrently with the Air mode, Surface mode and Beacon mode.

The Organic Combat System Operator/Team Training Submode provides for external scenario control by organic training systems for both static and dynamic targets in clutter in either the Radiate or Test state.

The program includes a variety of upgrades for search radar equipment to meet the evolving threat, and will provide anti-ship missile defense capability for surface combatants. The upgraded SPQ-9B - which uses a high-resolution, track-while-scan, X-band, pulse-Doppler radar - will enable detection and establishing firm track ranges on subsonic and supersonic sea-skimming missiles. In 1991, the Naval Research Laboratory Radar Division, supported by the Program Executive Office, Theater Air Defense, developed the AN/SPQ-9B radar concept for the Navy's anti-ship missile defense mission. The system concept includes a new air mode that provides a new, low-cost, quality sea-skimmer detection capability and a surface mode with improved performance in support of the MK 86 Gun Fire Control System and backup navigation. The radar's receiver and processor use high-performance Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) technology. The AN/SPQ-9B antenna provides for three beams. If an air target is detected in the main beam, two look-back beams provide confirmation and track promotion resulting in "single-scan" track disclosure to a ship's weapon system. An ultra-low noise exciter provides for accurate tone and clock signals.

The AN/SPQ-9B is at the end of its development phase. In October 1994, the Navy awarded an engineering and manufacturing development contract for two AN/SPQ-9B prototypes--one to be used as a contractor test set and one to support land-based testing at Port Hueneme, California. An Advanced Development Model (ADM) radar was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory and successfully demonstrated in land-based tests in 1993-94 against threat representative targets and again in at-sea tests in 1994-95. The design, fabrication, and testing of the Advanced Demonstration Model of the SPQ-9B by the Naval Research Laboratory have eliminated all serious technical risk. Initial performance testing of the ADM was completed at Wallops Island prior to a successful operational assessment conducted by the Self-Defense Test Ship during 1995.

As a result of successful testing, the Navy awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman Norden Systems for two AN/SPQ-9B pre-production kits with an option for six low-rate initial production units to meet ship delivery schedules and to support developmental and operational testing aboard the U.S.S. Oldendorf (DD 972).

A preliminary design review was accomplished FY 1996. Development for Mk 86 and SSDS interfaces is in progress. First Production Proof Kits (PPK) were delivered in late 1997, with a Milestone III decision and Initial Operational Capability (IOC) planned for FY 1999. The radars were delivered in the summer of 1998 at NSWC Port Hueneme Division where they underwent land-based testing. Land-based development testing on pre-production kit number was successfully completed in December 1998. Shipboard testing of the R&D units began in the first quarter of FY99, and was scheduled for completion in late 1999.

Although early development tests were successful, a change in program policy called for the AN/SPQ-9B radar to be installed on ship classes that could not carry the weight of the development (heavyweight) antenna. As a result, the Navy developed a prototype lightweight antenna assembly. The prototype was maintained by the contractor for use as a test set. A modification to the contract enabled the Navy to procure two lightweight antenna radar sets, as well as three lightweight antenna backfit sets.

During November 1999 shipboard developmental testing with a heavyweight antenna, the Navy encountered an unexpected interference problem with the AN/SLQ-32 electronic warfare system. According to Navy officials, the problem is of an electromagnetic nature and would have occurred even if a lightweight antenna had been used. As of mid-2000 the problem was being investigated and was expected to delay the system's operational evaluation. According to Navy officials, the delay of the operational evaluation would not impact the planned procurement contract for three SCN radar sets in fiscal year 2000.

On October 02, 2002 Northrop Grumman Norden Systems Inc., Melville, N.Y., was awarded a $15,085,638 firm-fixed-price letter contract for improved lightweight AN/SPQ-9B radar systems. The AN/SPQ-9B upgrades the AN/SPQ-9 radar of the MK-86 Gun Fire Control System (GFCS) currently installed on CG-47 Class surface combatants. Work will be performed in Melville, N.Y. (79%); Baltimore, Md. (19%); and Norwalk, Conn. (2%), and is to be completed by August 2005. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-02-C-4057).

On March 31, 2003 Northrop Grumman Norden Systems, Inc., Melville, N.Y., is being awarded a $19,003,484 not-to-exceed modification to exercise an option under previously awarded contract (N00024-02-C-4057) for four lightweight AN/SPQ-9B radar systems. The AN/SPQ-9B is an upgrade to the AN/SPQ-9 radar of the MK-86 gun fire control system currently installed on CG-47 Class surface combatants. Work will be performed in Melville, N.Y. (79%); Baltimore, Md. (19%); and Norwalk, Conn. (2%), and is expected to be completed in October 2005. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

The AN/SPQ-9B program develops and tests performance and reliability upgrades for search radar equipment to meet the evolving threat. A lightweight antenna assembly has also been furnished as an engineering change with FY2004 Funding.

Deployment

The AN/SPQ-9B was installed on ships and aircraft carriers in the following classes:

  • CG-47 TICONDEROGA-class cruisers
  • LHD-1 amphibious ships
  • LPD-17 SAN ANTONIO-class amphibious ships
  • DD-963 SPRUANCE-class destroyers
  • DDG-51 destroyers
  • CVN-68 NIMITZ-class aircraft carriers

The Navy installled the lightweight AN/SPQ-9B radar on LPD 17, CVN, and LHD ship classes and on selected CG ships through fiscal year 2007.




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