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Navy League 2023: US Navy contract provides for destroyer radar suit backfit

The recent navy contract provides for the first SPY-6(V)4 versions to be backfit on DDG 51 Flight IIA destroyers. (Raytheon)

The USD619 million contract awarded to Raytheon on 29 March to buy SPY-6 radar sets for the US Navy (USN) also provides for the first SPY-6(V)4 versions to be backfit on DDG 51 Flight IIAs, according to Mike Mills, senior director of naval radars, Raytheon.

“This starts getting your 24 RMA [radar modular assembly] configuration for BMD [ballistic missile defence] AMDR [air- and missile-defence radar],” Mills told Janes during a 27 March interview in advance of the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2023 Global Maritime Exposition held in National Harbor, Maryland, which started on 3 April.

Each RMA is a self-contained radar antenna in a 2×2×2 inch (5×5×5 cm) box, according to Raytheon. The RMAs stack together – are scaled – to fit the mission requirements of any ship.

“The Flight IIA hull can't handle the 37 RMA [radar],” Mills said. “The deconfiguration down to 24 RMA allows to easily install to flight IIA, it's scalable.”

The navy is looking to install the first backfit in 2026.

“Upgrading the Flight IIAs with a (V)4 radar allows the navy to more quickly field this capability at a faster rate than if relying solely on forward fit.” “When you think about the navy and how they [get] things out in fleet as fast as [they] can, it takes lot less time to install backfit than it does to install forward fit, like on Flight III [DDGs].”

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