AN/SPY-3

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AN/SPY-3
Country of origin United States
Type Navigation/Targeting
Frequency X band
Range 200 mi (320 km)

The AN/SPY-3 is an active electronically scanned array radar manufactured by Raytheon and designed for both blue-water and littoral[1] operations.

Designation Ship types Function
AN/SPY-1 Ticonderoga class cruisers, Arleigh Burke class destroyers Anti-air
AN/SPY-2 Cruisers, destroyers Anti-ballistic missile
AN/SPS-67 Cruisers, destroyers, carriers, amphibious ships Short-range, two-dimensional, surface-search/navigation radar
AN/SPQ-9B Destroyers, cruisers, amphibious assault ships Gun fire control radar
AN/SPN-41/46 Cruisers, destroyers, carriers, amphibious ships Glide slope approach control

Ancestry[edit]

The Aegis battle management system began with the AN/SPY-1 radar, intended to deal with an aircraft threat. AN/SPY-2 is an additional Aegis system, which extends the Aegis system sensors to be capable of ballistic missile defense.

Technology[edit]

X-band functionality (8 to 12 GHz frequency range) is optimal for minimizing low-altitude propagation effects, narrow beam width for best tracking accuracy, wide frequency bandwidth for effective target discrimination, and the target illumination for SM-2 and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM). The X-band has, in general, favorable low-altitude propagation characteristics, which readily support the horizon search functionality of the AN/SPY-3. A large operating bandwidth is required to mitigate large propagation variations due to meteorological conditions. [2]

The system uses commercial off the shelf (COTS) computers and has reduced manning requirements for operation and maintenance. A number of operation and maintenance functions can be completely automated.[3]

The AN/SPY-3 was originally to be combined with the S-Band AN/SPY-4 under the designator "Dual Band Radar" on both the Zumwalt Class (DDG-1000) destroyer and Ford Class (CVN-78) aircraft carrier. On 2 June 2010, Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter announced that they will be removing the SPY-4 S-band Volume Search Radar from the DDG 1000's dual-band radar to reduce costs as part of the Nunn-McCurdy certification process. Due to the SPY-4 removal, SPY-3 radar is to have software modifications so as to perform a volume search functionality. Shipboard operators will be able to optimize the SPY-3 MFR for either horizon search or volume search. While optimized for volume search, the horizon search capability is limited. Without the VSR, DDG-1000 is still expected to perform local area air defense. The Ford Class aircraft carriers will be the only platforms to have both radars married in one system. [4]

Deployment[edit]

The system will be introduced in the new Zumwalt-class destroyers and Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. It is also under consideration for retrofit to existing ships (USS Makin Island (LHD-8), Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, and San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks. Other installation candidates are the LH(X) future ship class.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]