WASHINGTON: Raytheon and the US Navy are preparing to begin backfitting the fleet’s Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyers with SPY-6 V(4) radars, a significant upgrade for a class of vessels considered to be the Navy’s workhorse, a company official told Breaking Defense.
Raytheon was awarded a $237 million contract in early December for integration and production support, a deal that effectively covers services such as hardware deliveries to the shipyards, integration with combat systems onboard the vessels and continuous development of the radar’s software, said Scott Spence, who leads Raytheon’s naval radar directorate.
“All the capabilities that are going to be on [the newer] Flight III ships — the ability to do integrated air and missile defense, the ability to track multiple incoming targets both ballistic missile as well as air-breathing targets, many more than the current generation radars can handle — all that capability will be in that Flight IIA,” he told Breaking Defense in an interview Monday ahead of the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium.
Raytheon is anticipating the Navy will award a corresponding hardware production and sustainment contract in the first half of 2022, he added.
The difference between the backfit radar destined for the Flight IIAs and the one being installed on the new Flight III destroyers is mostly down to size. The Navy and Raytheon have worked over the past year and a half to fit the radar’s space, weight and power requirements onboard the vessels.
“Those ships are a little smaller than the Flight III ships, so we’ve scaled the SPY-6 aperture to 24 [radar module assemblies] to fit onto those Flight IIA ships, and then we scaled all the back-end processing, the cooling systems and power systems to support those 24 RMAs,” Spence said.
The Navy’s fleet of roughly four dozen Flight IIAs are currently equipped with the Lockheed Martin-made AN/SPY-1 radar. Spence said the timing for each ship to receive the upgrade will depend upon when the Navy schedules each vessel’s maintenance period for midlife upgrades.
Raytheon to start backfitting destroyers with SPY-6 radar – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense is written by Justin Katz for breakingdefense.com