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AN/SPY-1D(V) 3-D Radar

The SPY-1D(V) "Victor" standard littoral radar upgrade was initiated to supersede the SPY-1D in new-construction ships beginning in FY 1998. Lockheed Martin [LMT] aimed to improve the littoral tracking and engagement and cruise missile defense capabilities of its Aegis combat system with the introduction of the SPY-1D(V) radar. The SPY-1D(V) radar is designed for improved performance in demanding littoral environments. Employing lessons learned from real-life tactical operations, this system adds new sophisticated coded waveforms, Pulsed Doppler acquisition and track, and a new track initiation processor to substantially improve clutter rejection. The "V" or variant version of the SPY- 1D can pick out targets from among land clutter - there are no mask angle issues with the SPY-1D(V).

The SPY-1D(V) radar is designed for the littoral environment, which requires a quick reaction to cruise missiles and other increased threats. It has the capability to pick out targets from the clutter of land. The Lockheed Martin SPY-1D(V) does that through improved signal processing, and an open computer architecture that uses commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components. The SPY-1D(V) radar uses commercial components to help the Aegis Weapon System detect missiles close to shore. The open architecture design would ease installation and upgrades. Maintenance is easier for this seventh-generation Aegis system than its predecessor since engineers built it to be "very sailor-friendly," by running a long time between maintenance opportunities.

Funding completed the development of an upgrade to the current AN/SPY-1D radar, Engineering Development Model 4B (EDM-4B), to enhance its capability against low cross section sea skimming targets in increasingly more severe electronic countermeasures and in near-land clutter environments. The changes are in the transmitter, signal processor, and radar control computer program for the ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG 51) class ships.

In May 1996, the Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force conducted the initial operational test of the SPY-1D(V) radar upgrade at the Moorestown site. The challenge of testing a naval radar in a ground environment was enormous. The Site lacked dynamic sea clutter, oceanic atmospheric anomalies, and very low flying targets. These limitations of the land-based Site were overcome by the extensive use of models and simulations. These models and simulations replicated the at-sea operating environment, providing simulated sea clutter, atmospherics, targets, and electronic jamming. All the models and simulations were accredited for use in this test after surviving a rigorous validation procedure to determine their suitability. After a successful operational test, the SPY-1D(V) was approved for limited rate inital production by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition) in December 1996.

The V-version underwent successful tests in the summer of 2003 and was fielded aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Pinckney in the summer of 2004. Navy engineers installed the system on the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91), which began sea trials in August 2003 and was due for commissioning in May, 2004. In April 2004, the ship tracked live, airborne targets in shipboard testing of the system. The new radar looks like an octagonal metal plate bolted to the superstructure of the ship. Under the plate is the antenna for a phased-array radar that electronically steers its beam through space without mechanical scanning. There are four antennas on each ship, providing 360-degree horizontal coverage and a dome of vertical coverage from azimuth to wave tops. The effect is like a bowl of radar coverage placed over the vessel.

The SPY-1D(V) is the main sensor for the Aegis Weapon System for the destroyer Hobart, the first of three planned Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD). The Air Warfare Destroyer is a top priority for the Australian Navy.

The new Cruiser Conversion Program, a top national priority, will upgrade many of the Aegis Cruisers with the AN/SPY-1D(V) signal processor for enhanced capability. The SPY-1D(V) Radar System was selected for the next-generation Korean Destroyer KDX-III. Three destroyers were to be built, the first of which was expected to be operational in 2008.

The key to the SPY-1D(V) strategy decision was a determination that land-based testing was adequate to support a low-rate initial production decision. This land-based testing was planned for the Navy's Combat System Engineering Development Site (CSEDS) in Moorestown, New Jersey. Due to its landlocked location, CSEDS' characteristics are vastly different from any shipboard environment, and those differences had to be assessed. The CSEDS facility is 50 miles from the Atlantic Ocean in a location that prohibits low-flying aircraft and severely restricts chaff and electronic jamming activities. Any test scenarios involving fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, chaff, and jamming must be conducted in areas that do not interfere with commercial airways, nearby subdivisions, or local farm animals. Site characteristics bear little resemblance to the at-sea operating environment of dynamic sea clutter, multipath low elevation propagation, and pitching and yawing conditions a radar will operate in when installed in a Navy ship. The testing methods for SPY-1D(V)'s new capabilities were all adversely impacted by CSEDS' site limitations.




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