The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


AN/SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar (MFR)

The AN/SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar (MFR) is a 3-face X-band active phased-array radar designed to meet all horizon search and fire control requirements for the 21st-century Fleet. The SPY-3 MFR is integrated with the Volume Search Radar as the Dual-Band Radar Suite. MFR is designed to detect the most advanced low-observable anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) threats and support fire-control illumination requirements for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), Standard Missiles (SM-2/SM-3), and future missiles required to support engagement of the most stressing ASCMs. The I/J-band SPY-3 can be supplemented by the E/F-band SBAR (AN/SPY-1E) as well. Operating in the I/J band, the former will suffer greater attenuation due to atmospheric absorption.

The primary mission of this system is to support ship self-defense. This requires the system to provide horizon search/track while-scan (HS/TWS), precision track of engaged threat targets and own-ship missiles, missile uplink/downlink, and threat target illumination. In addition, the radar supports various ancillary search and track functions. These include volume/sector search, cued acquisition, periscope detection and discrimination, counter-battery, naval surface fire support and surface search/navigation.

The Multi Function Radar combines the functions provided by more than five separate radars currently aboard Navy combatant ships. SPY-3 supports new ship-design requirements for reduced radar cross-section, significantly reduced manning requirements and total ownership cost reduction. MFR also supports new ship-design requirement for reduced radar cross-section, significantly reduced manning (no operators), and total ownership cost reduction.

The Multi-Function Radar (MFR) is a focal point for DD 21's Integrated Topside Design and embedded aperture technology. The Multi-Function Radar is an X-band active phased array radar designed to meet all horizon search and fire control requirements for the 21st-century fleet. The solid-state active arrays will be carefully engi-neered to preserve the ship signature requirements of DD 21 and require new topside technologies to incorporate embedded phased arrays into a composite superstructure.

The Navy expects the radar to perform such functions as horizon search, limited above-the-horizon search, and fire control track and illumination. One of the most significant design features of the radar is to provide automatic detection, tracking, and illumination of low-altitude threat missiles in adverse environmental conditions routinely found in coastal waters. Supplemented with a Volume Search Radar (VSR), being developed within the DD 21 competition, the radar suite will provide capabilities including situational awareness, air control, track identification, and counterbattery detection.

Tracking modes supported include Threat Assessment functions such as Non-Cooperative Target Recognition, Raid Count, Maneuver Estimation and Kill Assessment. These modes are performed against advanced threats in challenging natural and man-made interference environments associated with littoral operation. To meet performance requirements in these scenarios, the radar employs fast beam switching, low noise, active phased arrays, state-of-the-art dynamic range receive systems, adaptive digital matched filtering and Doppler processing for the high sub-clutter visibility and interference suppression required in dense target environments.

AN/SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar (MFR) Program

The SPY-3 radar was designed for the Navy's newest amphibious warfare ships, the next generation aircraft carrier, CVN-77 and the DD(X) class of surface combatant ships. MFR was initially planned for introduction in CVN-77 and next-generation CVNX aircraft carriers and the now-refocused DDX surface warship programs.

The Navy intended for the MFR to replace legacy radars currently found on CVN 68 class carriers including the SPS-67, Mk 23 TAS with Mk 95 illuminator or SPQ-9B, and the SPN-41/46 radars, which provide glide slope for approach control on aircraft carriers. Current Navy plans call for inclusion of the MFR on CVN 77, which was expected to enter service in December 2007, and the DD 21 ship class. Other installation candidates are LHD 8, CVN 70−76 (as a backfit), and CVN(X) and LH(X) future ship classes. Additionally, the Navy will review the LPD 17 combat system in 2001 to determine if changes in configuration are warranted. The costs and benefits of including the MFR/VSR suite in the LPD 17 combat system suite will be considered in this review.

Like the integrated propulsion system, DD 21's radar suite will have broad applications for other future naval platforms. The preeminent among these was to be CVN 77, which was to be the first ship to field the Multi-Function/Volume Search Radar suite. Both the DD 21 and CVN 77 Program Offices were working closely together to ensure requirements for both platforms are being incorporated into the radar suite design. This technology should also interest the designers of JCC(X) and LHD(X), as well as platforms currently in construction (such as LPD 17).

In June 1999, the Navy awarded a contract to develop an MFR prototype. MFR is being designed and developed as an Engineering Development Model (EDM) by Raytheon Systems Company, Sudbury MA. Based on these program plans, the initial MFR prototype was to be available in fiscal year 2002 to support land-based and sea-based testing.

As of 2001 Engineering and Manufacturing Development unit build was underway for development, testing, and follow-on production of MFR to support equipment delivery schedules for CVN-77, CVNX, DDX, and potentially future LPD-12 class ships. DT/OA was planned for early FY 2003. First production radar is scheduled for delivery to Newport News Shipbuilding for installation in CVN 77 in June 2006. IOC was expected in 2008.

In June 2003 Raytheon Company's Integrated Defense Systems completed integration, test and delivery of the first SPY-3 multifunction radar to the U.S. Navy's Surface Combat System Center at Wallops Island. This delivery is tangible evidence of the progress we've made in the development of next-generation radars that will serve the fleet in the 21st century. SPY-3 represents the first of the full-range of Raytheon technologies that will revolutionize the Navy's capabilities in the years to come. Raytheon's Naval and Maritime Integrated Systems (N&MIS) Radar Systems is pursuing international opportunities for derivatives of SPY-3. This includes an agreement to work with Thales on SEAPAR, which is planned to provide NATO countries with a multi-faced active X-band phased array system for ship self-defense.

Join the mailing list

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:57:09 ZULU