WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon Technologies a contract worth up to $3.16 billion to provide radars for as many as 31 ships over the next five years.
The award covers the family of SPY-6 radars, which includes the large V1 Air and Missile Defense Radar that will be installed on new Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, as well as smaller and rotating variants that will go on aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, frigates and older destroyers.
If all the options in the contract were exercised, that would bring Raytheon’s total to 46 radars provided to Navy ships, according to Scott Spence, an executive director for naval radars at the company.
Spence told reporters April 1 that the family of radars were modular and scalable, which means the company can use the same array modules to build all four variants, as large as the V1 that has four faces of 37 Radar Modular Assemblies each, and as small as the V2 Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar that has a single nine-RMA rotating face. It also means there will be a reduced cost throughout the planned 40-year life of the radars.
Sustainment cost will be “greatly reduced,” he explained, due to common training, common spare parts and common software updates that will be able to add new capabilities to all four variants with no additional integration concerns.
Spence said the SPY-6 was already a great technological improvement over the legacy SPY-1 radar.
Navy operators “need the greater detection ranges [and] increased sensitivity, specifically in contested environments — you get a highly contested environment, you need a radar that can see through all that clutter and be able to detect those targets at great distances and give the warfighter more time to react, and determine exactly what they’re looking at and then how to defeat those particular threats,” he said.
Ken Spurlock, the requirements and capabilities director for strategic engagement systems at Raytheon, said during the presentation that SPY-6 allows Navy ships to take fuller advantage of the capability and range of the Standard Missile family of systems, also built by Raytheon.
“What SPY-6 enables us to do is, basically, it gives us the flexibility to engage that max range, so now you have some options on how we engage the threat,” he said, adding it also provides “better clarity on what we’re shooting at so we don’t have to waste rounds.”
Spence said Raytheon has a common production line for the RMAs, which then go to two separate assembly areas for the large V1 and V4 radars as well as the smaller V2 and V3 radars.
The company is already prepared to accommodate the full amount of work included in the contract award and its options, he said. The company today builds at a pace of three V1 radars a year, and that would essentially double to meet the full workload under the new contract.
“We’ve hit our stride, production-wise,” Spence said of the work already happening under two smaller SPY-6 contracts, noting the company was already delivering V1 radars for new destroyers and would start delivering smaller radars for aircraft carriers next.
The V1 Air and Missile Defense Radar is the most sophisticated in the family and is a centerpiece of the Flight III destroyer design.
The V2 EASR is a small, rotating radar that will go on amphibious ships and will be backfit onto Nimitz-class carriers.
V3 has three fixed faces of nine RMAs each. It will go on the new Ford-class carriers and the Constellation-class frigates.
The V4 radar has four faces of 24 RMAs each and will be backfit onto Flight IIA Arleigh Burke destroyers as part of the DDG Mod 2.0 upgrade program.
Megan Eckstein is the naval warfare reporter at Defense News. She has covered military news since 2009, with a focus on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs and budgets. She has reported from four geographic fleets and is happiest when she’s filing stories from a ship. Megan is a University of Maryland alumna.