DDG 124 with AMDR highlighted.png
Artist rendering of an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer with AN/SPY-6 highlighted
Country of originUnited States
Typeair and missile defense active electronically scanned array 3D radar
FrequencyS band
Other Names
  • Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR)
  • Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR)

The AMDR (Air and Missile Defense Radar, now officially named AN/SPY-6)[1] is an active electronically scanned array[2] air and missile defense active electronically scanned array 3D radar under development for the United States Navy (USN).[3] It will provide integrated air and missile defense, and even periscope detection, for Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers;[4] variants are under development for retrofitting Flight IIA Arleigh Burkes, as well as installation aboard Constellation-class frigates, Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers and San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks.

The first delivery of the AN/SPY-6 to the USN took place on 20 July 2020.[5]


AN/SPY-6 system overview.

On October 10, 2013, "Raytheon Company (RTN) [was] awarded an almost $386m cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase design, development, integration, test and delivery of Air and Missile Defense S-band Radar (AMDR-S) and Radar Suite Controller (RSC)."[6] In September 2010, the Navy awarded technology development contracts to Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon to develop the S-band radar and radar suite controller (RSC). X-band radar development reportedly will come under separate contracts. The Navy hopes to place AMDR on Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, possibly beginning in 2016. Those ships currently mount the Aegis Combat System, produced by Lockheed Martin.[7]

In 2013, the Navy cut almost $10B from the cost of the program by adopting a smaller less capable system that will be challenged by "future threats".[8] As of 2013 the program is expected to deliver 22 radars at a total cost of almost $6.6B; they will cost $300m/unit in serial production.[9] Testing is planned for 2021 and Initial operating capability is planned for March 2023.[9] The Navy then was forced to halt the contract in response to a challenge by Lockheed.[10] Lockheed officially withdrew their protest on January 10, 2014,[11] allowing the Navy to lift the stop work order.[12]


The AMDR system consists of two primary radars and a radar suite controller (RSC) to coordinate the sensors. An S-band radar is to provide volume search, tracking, ballistic missile defense discrimination and missile communications while the X-band radar is to provide horizon search, precision tracking, missile communication and terminal illumination of targets.[7] The S-band and X-band sensors will also share functionality including radar navigation, periscope detection, as well as missile guidance and communication. AMDR is intended as a scalable system; the Arleigh Burke deckhouse can only accommodate a 4.3 m (14 ft) version but the USN claim they need a radar of 6.1 m (20 ft) or more to meet future ballistic missile threats.[9] This would require a new ship design; Ingalls have proposed the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock as the basis for a ballistic missile defense cruiser with 6.1 m (20 ft) AMDR. To cut costs the first twelve AMDR sets will have an X-band component based on the existing SPQ-9B rotating radar, to be replaced by a new X-band radar in set 13 that will be more capable against future threats.[9] The transmit-receive modules will use new gallium nitride semiconductor technology.[9] This will allow for higher power density than the previous gallium arsenide radar modules.[13] The new radar will require twice the electrical power as the previous generation while generating over 35 times as much radar power.[14]

Although it was not an initial requirement, the AMDR may be capable of performing electronic attacks using its AESA antenna. Airborne AESA radar systems, like the APG-77 used on the F-22 Raptor, and the APG-81 and APG-79 used on the F-35 Lightning II, and F/A-18 Super Hornet/EA-18G Growler respectively, and have demonstrated their capability to conduct electronic attack. The contenders for the Navy's Next Generation Jammer all used Gallium Nitride-based (GaN) transmit-receiver modules for their EW systems, which enables the possibility that the high-power GaN-based AESA radar used on Flight III ships can perform the mission. Precise beam steering could attack air and surface threats with tightly directed beams of high-powered radio waves to electronically blind aircraft, ships, and missiles.[15]

The radar is 30 times more sensitive and can simultaneously handle over 30 times the targets of the existing AN/SPY-1D(V) in order to counter large and complex raids.[16]


  • AN/SPY-6(V)1: 4-sided phased array radar each with 37 RMAs. It is estimated to have a 15 dBi improvement compared to the previous generation AN/SPY-1 radar, or capable of detecting targets half the size at twice the distance. It is capable of simultaneous defence against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, air and surface threats, as well as performing electronic warfare.[17] AN/SPY-6(V)1 is planned for the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
  • AN/SPY-6(V)2: Otherwise known as the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR).[18] Rotating and scaled-down version with 9 RMAs estimated to have the same sensitivity as an AN/SPY-1D(V) radar while being significantly smaller. It is capable of simultaneous defense against cruise missiles, air and surface threats, as well as performing electronic warfare.[17] It is planned for Flight II San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (previously known as LX(R))[19] and USS Bougainville (LHA-8), an America-class amphibious assault ship.[20]
  • AN/SPY-6(V)3: A 3-sided phased array fixed version of the EASR, each with 9 RMAs. It has the same capabilities as AN/SPY-6(V)2.[17] Operating in S-band, it will serve as a Volume Search Radar complementing the AN/SPY-3 X-band radar on Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers, starting with USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79).[20] It's also planned as the primary multi-function radar for Constellation-class frigates[21] starting with lead ship USS Constellation (FFG-62).
  • AN/SPY-6(V)4: A 4-sided phased array radar with 24 RMAs. Similarly to AN/SPY-6(V)1, it is capable of simultaneous defense against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, air and surface threats, as well as performing electronic warfare Planned to be retrofitted on Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.[17]
  • A proposed 69 RMAs version is estimated to have 25 dBi sensitivity improvement over the AN/SPY-1, or capable of detecting targets half the size at almost four times the distance.[17]

See also


  1. ^ "U.S. Navy's SPY-6 Family of Radars | Raytheon Missiles & Defense".
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ "AMDR Competition: The USA's Next Dual-Band Radar". Archived from the original on 13 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-01.
  4. ^ "Exhibit R-2A, RDT&E Project Justification: PB 2011 Navy" (PDF). 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-10-01.
  5. ^ "US Navy takes delivery of new, more powerful radar". Defense News. 20 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2013-10-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b "New Radar Development Continues for U.S. Navy". Defense News. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
  8. ^ ""NavWeek: Radar Shove."". Archived from the original on 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  9. ^ a b c d e "GAO-13-294SP DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs" (PDF). US Government Accountability Office. March 2013. pp. 117–8. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  10. ^ Shalal-Esa, Andrea (23 October 2013). "U.S. Navy orders Raytheon to halt radar work after protest". Reuters. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  11. ^ McCarthy, Mike (10 January 2014). "Lockheed Martin Drops Protest On Award Of Navy's New Shipboard Radar". Defense Daily. Defense Daily Network. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  12. ^ LaGrone, Sam (13 January 2014). "Lockheed Martin Drops Protest over Next Generation Destroyer Radar". US Naval Institute News. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  13. ^ "The Heart of the Navy's Next Destroyer". July 30, 2013.
  14. ^ Filipoff, Dmitry (4 May 2016). "CIMSEC Interviews Captain Mark Vandroff, Program Manager DDG-51, Part 1". CIMSEC. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  15. ^ Navy’s Next Generation Radar Could Have Future Electronic Attack Abilities -, 17 January 2014
  16. ^ Eshel, Tamir (May 12, 2015). "Raytheon's next generation naval radar passes milestone".
  17. ^ a b c d e "U.S. Navy's SPY-6 Family of Radars". Raytheon. 12 July 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  18. ^ "SAS 2019 Day 2 - SPY-6, NSM for USMC, PGK, Freedom LCS & FFG(X), Navantia". YouTube. 2019-05-07. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  19. ^ "Navy C4ISR and Unmanned Systems". Sea Power 2016 Almanac. Navy League of the U.S. January 2016. p. 91. Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2017.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  20. ^ a b "Raytheon Awarded $92M Navy Contract for Future Carrier Radars". USNI News. August 22, 2016.
  21. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier, ed. (18 January 2018). "SNA 2018: Contenders for the U.S. Navy FFG(X) Frigate Program". Navy Recognition. Retrieved 19 January 2018.

External links

  • Media related to AN/SPY-6 at Wikimedia Commons
  • Missile Threat CSIS - Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR)
  • Lockheed Martin AMDR
  • Northrop Grumman AMDR
  • Raytheon AMDR