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Navy tracks missile with new radar during flight test

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    The new AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar.

The Navy announced today that it successfully tracked a medium-range ballistic missile target in flight off Kauai with the new AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar on July 27.

SPY-6 can see a target half the size at twice the distance of the SPY-1D radar in use on Navy ships today, maker Raytheon said. “The radar significantly enhances the ships’ ability to detect air and surface targets as well as the ever-proliferating ballistic missile threats,” the company said.

The radar will simultaneously support long range tracking and discrimination of ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere as well as area and self defense against air and surface threats, the Navy said.

On July 27, a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. An AN/SPY-6(V) radar searched for, detected and maintained track on the target throughout its trajectory, the Navy said. Designated Vigilant Titan, the flight test was the second in a series of ballistic missile defense flight tests for the radar.

The test radar was put in place at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in June 2016.

The Navy’s AN/SPY-6(V) successfully searched for and tracked a short-range ballistic missile target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on March 15 in the first ballistic missile flight test involving the radar.

“We are continuing to stress this radar by increasing the range and complexity of the targets and demonstrating the awesome capability and versatility of the Navy’s next generation integrated air and missile defense radar,” Navy Capt. Seiko Okano, major program manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems, said in a release. “AN/SPY-6 is the nation’s most advanced radar and will be the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s surface combatants for many decades.”

Based on preliminary data, the test successfully met its primary objectives against a complex medium range ballistic missile target, the Navy said.

The radar is on track for deployment on new DDG-51 Flight III destroyers, Raytheon said. The system is built with individual “building blocks” called “radar modular assemblies.” The 2’x2’x2’ boxes stack together to form different sized arrays for different mission requirements, the company said.

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