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DOT&E cites need for better AMDR testing model

A Pentagon report recommends the US Navy replace its Air and Missile Defense Radar testing model. (Raytheon)

The US Navy (USN) should replace the testing model of its Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), designated the AN/SPY-6(V)1, according to the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) FY 2023 Annual Report, released on 2 February.

The operational assessment (OA) being done on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 used for testing “was not intended to determine operational effectiveness and suitability of the delivered AMDR due to the AN/SPY-6(V)1 at ARDEL [Advanced Radar Detection Laboratory]”, on the Pacific Missile Range Facility, in Kauai, Hawaii, which “uses obsolete T/R [transmit/receive] integrated microwave modules”, the DOT&E reported.

“The AN/SPY-6(V)1 is an EDM [engineering development model] version that is in a degraded state and requires upgrade to provide representative performance,” the DOT&E said. “The AN/SPY-6(V)1 was adequate to support OA objectives but will not be adequate for IOT&E [Initial Operational Test and Evaluation].”

The advanced nature of the AN/SPY-6(V)1 necessitates an up-to-date testing model, according to the DOT&E report.

“AN/SPY-6 uses a radar modular assembly (RMA) as a building block for the radar's antenna,” the DOT&E reported. “Each individual RMA is a self-contained radar antenna built from a set of active transmit/receive digital modules that are electronically scanned. Each RMA block can integrate with other RMA blocks to create antenna assemblies of various size and capability. The large number of T/R modules provides a high degree of fault tolerance through antenna redundancy and graceful degradation.”

However, the current testing EDM “uses obsolete T/R Integrated Microwave Modules from that of the delivered system”.

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