AMDR

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The AMDR (Air and Missile Defense Radar) is an active electronically scanned array[1] air and missile defense radar under development for the United States Navy.[2] It will provide integrated air and missile defense, and even periscope detection, for the Flight III Arleigh Burke class destroyers.[3]

Development[edit]

On October 10, 2013, "Raytheon Company (RTN) [was] awarded a $385,742,176 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the engineering and modeling development phase design, development, integration, test and delivery of Air and Missile Defense S-band Radar (AMDR-S) and Radar Suite Controller (RSC)." [4] 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 destroyer, possibly beginning in 2016. Those ships currently mount the Aegis Combat System system, produced by Lockheed Martin.[5]

In 2013, the Navy cut almost $10 billion from the cost of the program by adopting a smaller less capable system that will be challenged by "future threats".[6] As of 2013 the program is expected to deliver 22 radars at a total cost of $6,598m; they will cost $300m/unit in serial production.[7] Testing is planned for 2021 and Initial operating capability is planned for March 2023.[7] The Navy then was forced to halt the contract in response to a challenge by Lockheed.[8] Lockheed officially withdrew their protest and the Navy lifted the stop work on January 10th, 2014.[9]

Technology[edit]

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.[5] 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 Burke deckhouse can only accommodate a 14-foot version but the USN claim they need a radar of 20 foot or more to meet future ballistic missile threats.[7] 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 20-foot 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.[7] The transmit-receive modules will use new gallium nitride semiconductor technology.[7] This will allow for higher power density than the previous gallium arsenide radar modules.[10]

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, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and EA-18G Growler 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.[11]

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