Powerful New Raytheon Radar Gives Navy Better Defense Against Ballistic, Hypersonic Threats

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May 21, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: May 21 on

This week, the U.S. Navy League held its annual Sea Air Space Exposition near the nation’s capital, highlighting recent advances in maritime warfighting technology. With over 300 exhibitors, there was a lot to see.  The most important new system on display, though, may have been the SPY-6 radar that Raytheon has been developing for the Navy since 2013.

SPY-6V1, as it is officially designated, is unlike any air and missile defense radar that has come before.  Using gallium nitride technology and modular design concepts, Massachusetts-based Raytheon has created a sensor that is infinitely scalable for any defensive role, delivering gains in performance that would have been unimaginable a generation ago.

The basic building block of SPY-6 is called a “radar modular assembly.” It is a self-contained radar in a 2-foot cube that can easily be connected with other cubes to form an array of any size.  The more cubes you add, the more power can be applied to a problem.  The Navy’s latest version of its multi-mission Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will have four arrays for 360-degree protection, each containing 37 cubes.

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