The US Navy’s next-generation radar for aircraft carriers and amphibious warfare ships, Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR), is set to commence live testing at Wallops Island Test Facility in Virginia.
Developed by Raytheon, EASR is the newest sensor in the navy’s SPY-6 family of radars.
The radar was recently put through subsystem testing at Raytheon’s Near Field Range in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
In preparation for the live testing, the 6ft × 6ft rotating array was wrapped and loaded onto a flatbed truck before being crane-lifted onto a 100ft test tower at the Surface Combat Systems Center at Wallops Island.
According to Raytheon, the radar will undergo system-level testing, where it will track a variety of aircraft. The testing is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.
EASR is designed to provide simultaneous anti-air and anti-surface warfare, electronic protection and air traffic control capabilities.
US Navy Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems Above Water Sensors programme manager captain Jason Hall said: “Going from ‘cold steel’ to a fully calibrated radar in less than one year is no small feat, but that’s exactly what we accomplished with EASR.
“The scalable building block architecture developed for AN/SPY-6(V)1 enabled EASR to rapidly complete subsystem testing. We are making great strides toward delivering SPY-6 capability across the fleet.”
EASR will be made available in two variants. The first one, which is designated AN/SPY-6(V)2, is a single-face rotating array for amphibious assault ships and Nimitz class carriers.
Designated AN/SPY-6(V)3, the second radar is a three fixed-face array designed for Ford-class aircraft carriers and the future FFG(X) guided missile frigates.
Raytheon is building both AN/SPY-6(V)2 and AN/SPY-6(V)3 on scalable Radar Modular Assembly technology and a software baseline.
EASR will augment the mature SPY-6 software baseline with the addition of air traffic control and weather capabilities.
Once system-level testing is complete, the radar will transition to the production phase.
The company expects to deliver the AN/SPY-6(V)2 for installation on the Navy’s America-class Amphibious Assault Ship LHA-8 in 2021.
EASR is anticipated to offer benefits such as increased performance, higher reliability and sustainability, and lower total ownership cost.